- Front Porch
HAMDEN — On paper, Beach Avenue may seem like a folk-rock band, but their performance at The Ballroom Saturday night proved the group is versatile and can entertain a crowd through an hourlong set.
Beach Avenue — Nick Fradiani Jr., Nick Abraham, Ryan Zipp, Nick Fradiani Sr. and Jonah Ferrigno — formed in 2011 on Beach Avenue in Milford.
On Saturday, the tables were filled in front of the stage, and people lined the walls and gathered in front of the bar in back of the venue. Nick Fradiani Jr. repeatedly thanked the crowd for coming to the show.
“We were here a little early and just hanging out and I met some people who said they drove down here from Massachusetts. I met someone who drove here from New York,” the frontman said to the audience. “That’s mindblowing.”
The five-piece band, which took the stage shortly after 10 p.m., began the night with a few up-tempo songs to liven the crowd. The set didn’t focus on one tempo; the group managed to perform a variety of songs without losing the crowd.
Beach Avenue has a folk-rock sound, but there are hints of pop elements. With upbeat songs and harmonies, the group’s music feels like something you’d bring to the beach.
Songs such as “Coming Your Way” are reminiscent of the Lumineers. Other songs, such as “Feel the Beat,” feature upbeat rhythms and a lighthearted tone.
“Coming Your Way” and “Feel the Beat” were performed on the ninth season of “America’s Got Talent.” The musicians didn’t make it past Judgment Week, but from the turnout at the Ballroom, they still have a strong fan base.
In the middle of the set, the group deviated from performing originals and played covers, including Magic!’s “Rude.”
While the group uses a variety of instruments, such as keyboards, a mandolin and xylophone, the covers highlighted Beach Avenue’s versatility as musicians.
They managed to turn Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” into a folk piece, which was met with cheers and screams from the audience. During the outro of the song, Nick Fradiani Jr. transitioned into another well-known hip hop song: Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.”
Early in the performance, Nick Fradiani Jr. told the audience he enjoyed the intimate setting. The group is big on audience interaction, as they asked the crowd to clap their hands throughout the night and to even stand up and dance — which only a small group did.
Beach Avenue has been compared to more well-known groups such as the Lumineers and Mumford and Sons. But from the variety of instruments the group uses, to their ability to turn different genres of music into their own, Beach Avenue sets themselves apart.
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