It's hard to be impressed by live performances anymore–you usually show up and expect the singer to have some sort of backing track and a few band members playing over top. Or maybe you even expect choreography, and a giant spectacle for some of the larger artists. But when was the last time you saw just a group of musicians on-stage, and were actually impressed by their show?
Colin Rigsby, formerly the drummer of House of Heroes, used to sit while playing the drums. After a stint of trying his hand as a domestic person (which we all know never works with a musician's itch), he started a side project as a hobby: Vesperteen. At the time, he had no idea that the project would turn into an entirely new world for him, including fans, known as the "Vesperteam," who know every word of every song, and a live show that includes him singing, and STANDING UP while playing the drums.
Oddly enough, the project is seeing tons of underground success with multiple sold out shows– and that's with no label, no official playlist backing, and minimal radio plays. Vesperteen is an example of success based on purely great music with no visual gimmicks or pay-to-play BS. Not to mention, the live show is undoubtedly the spectacle that wins people over.
Some joke that there is no such thing as a "casual Vesperteen fan," which after seeing his live show at the Roxy last month, is definitely an understatement. The crowd's reaction is comparable to the moment someone like Matt Healy from the 1975 takes the stage in an arena–except Colin works the stage as both a resident rockstar and a killer-standing-drummer, making a connection with each fan in every room as he converts casual fans into die-hard ones.
Vesperteen is about to head out on another tour in October, and if you enjoy a live a show with amazing music, you certainly do not want to miss this (see dates below). Check out some photos from Colin's BTS & show tour diary, and then read our Q&A with him below.
Together For The Winter Tour:
12/7 - Akron, OH - Musica
12/8 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
12/9 - Buffalo, NY - Iron Works
12/10 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bazaar
12/11 - Philadelphia, PA - Voltage Lounge
12/12 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery
12/13 - Raleigh, NC - King’s
12/14 - Knoxville, TN - Open Chord
12/15 - Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room
TOUR DIARY - BEHIND THE SCENES:
[Atlanta] Coffee is always the essential first stop in the AM.
[Des Moines] I had Jesse learn Tiny Dancer in 2 days time and we nailed it!
[Little Rock] Sound check one…
[Little Rock] …Sound check two.
[Nashville] At work but trying to be on vacation.
[Nashville] I tried out a fanny pack this tour. I think I like it. Very handy.
[Nashville] I love my new glowing drum kit so much! It's the light of my life.
[Tampa] Checking out different cities across the country never gets old.
TOUR DIARY - SHOWS:
[Cleveland] Sometimes people give me flowers. On this occasion I ate one for reasons unknown.
[Dallas] Me, teaching Dallas how to, ahem.. make a heart shape.
[Des Moines] So cool to play a town like Des Moines cause they don't have bands come through very often.
[Tulsa] Sometimes I climb things if I'm in the mood to potentially fall and embarrass myself. Which I do, regularly.
[Tulsa] I love to get close and touchy with as many peeps as possible. Helps make a great connection. Started as strangers and end up with each others sweat on our faces.All photos taken by Jared Heveron.
OTW: You started by drumming in a band called House of Heroes–what was that like?
V: I did, yeah, seems like forever ago. It was great. Some really fun years. I miss sitting down to play drums. Sometimes.
OTW: Where does the name Vesperteen come from?
V: It came from a name for a comic book character I had probably 10 years ago. It was a rough concept of a teen who went out at night and fought crime. In botany, a vespertine flower is one that blooms in the evening. I liked that idea of coming alive after the sun goes down. That's what my teen years were like. That's what going to a show is like.
OTW: This project has been said to be a "hobby"–did you ever plan for it to get this popular?
V: I've ALWAYS planned to be popular. This started off without any expectation of what it could turn into. Every step has been a surprise and amazing.
OTW: Since everything has been mostly DIY, how do you think fans have heard about you?
V: I think the fans hear about me from the amazing Vesperteam, which is a name for literally anyone who listens to my music. If you're coming to shows, you're on the team. If you downloaded the songs, you're on the team. If you tell all your friends about it, you're on the team.
OTW: Your shows have also had a ridiculous amount of fans show up, all wearing your merch and singing every word to every song–how does that feel?
V: I can barely soak it in really before there's something else amazing going on. Sometimes during a show I just stop and look these people in their eyes, and I just smile and shake my head, cause that's all I can do to process that they are there because of some feelings I put to melody in my bedroom a couple years ago. Crazy.
OTW: You play the drums while singing - and STANDING UP - how did you decide on that set up for live performance?
V: I don't remember the exact moment, but I do remember that I didn't even know that I would be playing the drums for the shows. I thought maybe I'd be more traditional and do keys or guitar or just sing. But I just HAAAAD to be different.
OTW: You have another tour coming up - are you planning to do anything differently on these next shows?
V: These will be different because we are supporting another band. I'm looking forward to being in front of some people that don't know the music because I have an insatiable desire to prove myself to strangers. [laughs] But I'm very much looking forward to seeing MY team there as well. My goal is to have a new song or two in the mix as well by then.
OTW: What's next for you?
V: Writing, writing, writing. Working on lots of new Vesperteen songs. And gonna release them as soon as possible. Then a short fall tour with The Wrecks and maybe a few more shows before the end of the year.
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