Finish Ticket returns to LA at the El Rey

By Sammy Park
Staff Writer

Photo by Sammy Park

The Bay Area band, Finish Ticket, made a stop in Los Angeles at the El Rey Theatre during their impressive 25 show tour on Thursday, October 27th. Their experience from opening on the Blurryface tour with Twenty One Pilots showed.

The Thursday evening at the El Rey Theatre began with IRONTOM and Run River North. IRONTOM surprised the audience with eccentric dancing by frontman, Harry Hayes. Unconventional behavior continued as drummer Dyl Williams removed his shirt only three songs in. Run River North, a Los Angeles based band, excited the audience with songs heavy in guitar and drum solos. Many diehard, Asian-American fans showed up just to watch the band’s opening performance. The two openers hyped up the crowd, and were an excellent segue to the main event.

Finish Ticket features two sets of brothers, Brendan and Michael Hoye with Gabe and Nick Stein along with the non-brother member, Alex DiDonato. The indie rock band has California influences that are evident with their pop melodies. The fusion between rock and pop brought out their motley crew of fans, who ranged from young women to middle-aged men.

Finish Ticket’s, setlist began with the passionate song “Lying Through Our Teeth.” The crowd was treated to energized versions of the band’s studio EP and album. Much of this was due to the band’s drummer, Gabe Stein, who brought dramatic percussion to every songs.   

The intimate venue allowed frontman, Brendan Hoye, to be talkative throughout the set. The Northern California native spoke about Finish Ticket’s history of playing shows in Los Angeles to empty audiences, which highlighted the band’s growth from humble beginnings. The packed house at the El Rey signaled that Finish Ticket’s days of playing concerts for small, dispassionate crowds were over.

The crowd went wild when Finish Ticket easily transitioned to a cover of the Arctic Monkeys’ classic, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High.” Flawless instrumentation and breathy vocals made the cover sound original. Hoye sang his way through “Tranquilize” and “Color” with unorthodox dance moves. The crowd’s roar didn’t waver, even through the lesser known songs.

Finish Ticket’s warmth brought a familial aurora to the El Rey crowd. By the end of the night, even fans of Run River North were humming along to Finish Ticket.

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