Live Review: Authority Zero and Ballyhoo! @ Masquerade Atlanta

PromoImage (1)Review by Alex Moore


A small but faithful crowd gathered at Masquerade as the 2013 Summer Sickness Tour rolled into Atlanta. Co-headliners Authority Zero and Ballyhoo! assured that what the crowd lacked in numbers, they made up for in passion and energy.


The evening began with Georgia’s own Burns Like Fire. With enough karate kicks and fist pumps to satisfy punk rock purists, and enough bawdy humor and clever banter to reel in newcomers, they offered a little something for everyone. Additionally, they get credit for one of the most clever and well executed cover songs in quite some time, closing their set with a masterfully rearranged version of Eminem’s, “Lose Yourself.”


Next on the bill was Versus the World, who took a decidedly more technical approach to their music. Frontman Donald Spence traded shouted vocals for beautiful, lush singing, adding a creative and unique texture to their sound. Songs regularly changed time signature, supplying a progressive and post-hardcore twist to their music. Offering an avant garde brand of rock, Versus the World is a band to watch for.


With the audience warmed up, it was time for the first of the evening’s headliners, Authority Zero. From the moment the group took stage, vocalist Jason DeVore whipped the crowd into a frenzy, bouncing around the stage, stopping only momentarily to hug and greet members of the audience. The group’s short but sweet set relied heavily on material from new album, The Tipping Point, though older favorites such as “Revolution” and “Brick in the Wave” were welcomed by fans who ate up every moment of the performance. The energy emanating from the quartet was nothing short of infectious, assuring that Authority Zero stole the show.


Closing the evening was Ballyhoo!, whose reggae infused ska offered a tonal shift leaving some in the audience scratching their heads. With song topics ranging from drinking with friends to marijuana reform, the music compliments the band’s fun-loving and carefree attitude. Material from latest effort, Pineapple Grenade meshed well with the group’s older material. Still, one can’t help but wonder if Ballyhoo! are misplaced on this tour. Sonically speaking, it doesn’t quite add up. Ballyhoo! put on an excellent show, which was well received, but their sound clashed with their Summer Sickness comrades, ending the evening with a whisper instead of a bang.


For more information on Authority Zero, check out


For more information on Ballyhoo!, check out


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