Published on July 12th, 2015 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson0
Flyleaf…Keeping Rock Special
By: Paul Ehmer
When I started consulting the Texas Crawfish Festival which has a 70 plus artist line up this year, I realized there was one rock band I wanted to put on the festival and that was Flyleaf. Having been a fan for a very long time, the first time I saw them play was in Houston at Warehouse Live. I told my wife, “wouldn’t it be cool to open for that band some time?” As it happens, I got a call from a good friend, Chris Pate, with the band Signal Rising in College Station, Texas. He said, “you can’t tell anyone, but would Dimitri’s Rail like to open for Flyleaf? We have a secret show here and Rock 103.9 is pushing it.” Well of course my first reaction was YES! The show got leaked and sold out in a room that held maybe 500 people.
Flyleaf has been a long standing staple in the Mainstream Rock and Christian Rock scene creating its own sound and path that is Flyleaf. It’s really hard to compare them in my opinion to anyone. Other bands are compared to them as they try to achieve success.
Flyleaf released their fourth album, Between The Stars, on September 16, 2014 and was produced by Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Three Days Grace, Avril Lavigne).
In addition to debuting in the #1 spot on Billboard Top Current Alternative Albums, the album made it on to several charts including #3 Billboard Current Contemporary Christian Albums, #3 Billboard Top Christian/Gospel Albums and #4 Billboard Top Hard Music Albums, among others in the U.S. In Canada, “Between The Stars” debuted at #39 on Billboard Top 200 Albums, #30 on Billboard Top Current Hard Music Albums and #46 on Billboard Top Current Alternative Albums.
Flyleaf began over a decade ago with their self-titled debut platinum album that included their hit song “All Around Me” which has sold over one million digital downloads. Flyleaf spent 133 weeks in the Billboard Top 200, Top 15 on the Rock Albums & Alternative Albums charts. Its follow-up, Memento Mori, went Top 10 on the Billboard Top 200.
On Saturday May 2, 2015, Flyleaf played at the Texas Crawfish Festival in Spring, Texas. The lineup was diverse and ranged from Country, Rock, Zydeco, Cajun and Americana. This year’s festival marked its 29th year and gave patrons a variety of music holding three stages of music that will ran from 12pm – 12am. The entirety of the festival was April 24 – 26 and May 1 – 3. Flyleaf, the headliner rock act for the festival, supported top 40 country artist, Joe Nichols. The mixture of Rock and Country gave the feeling of something new and fresh the festival hadn’t had the last few years with up and coming Country artist, Mike Donnell Band, who hit the top 40 country charts in Europe.
I’ve owned every single one of Flyleaf’s albums and have followed them for quite some time. Seeing the band emerge back with its last single “Set me on Fire” is exciting because it means rock is not dead and is only on an upswing. With the whole debacle of Taylor Swift pulling music from Spotify, I think as it always does, that everything circles back in this music business. Rock is headed for a comeback and Flyleaf is leading the charge.
I listened to the entire new album “Between the Stars” numerous times. This seems to be a new fresh Flyleaf with hints of past records intertwined into this fantastically produced album. The newest single, “Thread”, definitely caught my attention with its heavy melodic chorus. The overall talent of this band is amazing and takes you on a journey traveling “Between the Stars”. Guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya signature licks stick with you and gives you a glimpse of how the direction has changed slightly. Vocalist Kristen May’s range, texture, and overall powerhouse vocals fits perfectly into flyleaf. Fans of the band as always get attached to certain things, but change just takes time and Flyleaf is making headway in the right direction.
Flyleaf rocked the Texas Crawfish Festival on May 2nd. It was truly an experience for all. The festival has been the original Crawfish Festival for 29 years and others have tried to imitate it, but have yet to be successful. Growing up in Spring, Texas, it is truly amazing to be involved in the festival not just as artist in years past, but now consulting one of the most successful crawfish festivals in the state of Texas. In past years, the festival has always had major talent booked by some of the top talent buyers in Texas.
The full history of the festival can be seen on www.texascrawfishfestival.com.