Thursday, May 7, 9 p.m., $10
THE PAST two years have been a whirlwind for X Ambassadors. After playing Stopover 2013, they were originally scheduled to play this year’s fest, but dropped, when the opportunity to tour the Midwest in House of Blues-level venues emerged.
These banner opportunities have been pouring in for the band; with their debut, VHS, due on June 23 via Interscope Records (home to Madonna, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar...you get the idea), X Ambassadors are the little guy no more.
Even if you didn’t see their Stopover show, you’ve more than likely heard the band before.
In an effort to grab all the millennials out there buying new cars (Ha! Ha! Ha...) Jeep recently teamed up with Interscope and X Ambassadors for a six-month, $6 million campaign to premiere the 2015 Jeep Renegade.
You’ve probably seen it: a troupe of beautiful 20-somethings with tasteful tattoos trespass on private property, skateboard on rooftops, skinny dip, and blow harmonicas while wearing fedoras. With the top of their off-the-lot Jeep down, they reach over to the touchscreen to crank up X Ambassadors’ “Renegades.”
“Long live the pioneers, rebels and mutineers,” the lyrics cheer, bellowing into canyons, shimmering off of skyscrapers.
“Go forth and have no fear,” the Jeep Campaign coaxes. “Live as we do. Live like renegades.”
A blend of One Republic’s toe-tapping, blood-rush movement and hand-clapping, folk-pop vocals, “Renegades” is X Ambassadors’ fast-pass ticket to being a crossover hit: this year’s Mumford & Sons, the next Fun. (Media giant iHeartRadio said it themselves, dubbing the band an “iHeartRadio On The Verge Artist”).
The band has always stood out for unabashedly proclaiming their love of Top 40 pop (a move that seems to have become en vogue as of late—the antithesis of “indie cred”). It’s an Urban Outfitters-approved approach to huge choruses and contagious progressions.
Dreamers, the rippin’ rock power trio you might have seen at this year’s Stopover, return as support. They recently signed on with Fairfax Recordings and crank out tightly-wound pop-rock songs in the vein of early Strokes and The Killers.
Get there in time to catch opener Athens’ Chief Scout: radical, beefy, nasty psych rock for the Zeppelin lover in all of us.