After three weeks on the road, HIRIE finally came stomping the stage at St. Petersburg’s famed venue, Jannus Live, as part of their Mood Swing Tour. Ballyhoo! and Surfer Girl were also along for the ride.
All three bands filled the night with tones that reverberated against the surrounding buildings and absorbed into the lively crowd.
Each band brought something different to the stage, yet all were equally amazing; as soon as Surfer Girl started playing, the crowd threw themselves toward the rail. With each song, frontman Carter Reeves fueled the masses with his limitless energy. Though only a three-piece, Surfer Girl zapped the show wide open from the start of their set.
Once Ballyhoo! hit the stage, everyone was still buzzing from the Surfer Girl’s set, but the thing about the Annapolis band is that they take it from 10 and turn it to 11. Each chord beckons for some thrashing — unleashing the inner punk in all of us. With each riff on his golden guitar, lead guitarist Sebastian Tenorio-Vallejo’s shredding seduced the crowd.
Throughout the Ballyhoo! set, the crowd sang valiantly to each song. It was almost as if they were unofficial backing vocalists, because they sounded incredible. Meanwhile, the show’s momentum grew higher with each banger. Ending on the cover of blink-182‘s “Dammit” was bittersweet. Not only did it scratch the itch of mixing reggae with punk, a specialty of Ballyhoo!, but it also was a perfect send-off song.
HIRIE played a set that mixed some of the best sounds, from songs like the 2020 power hit “Bonfire” to a jammin’ cover of the earworm “Pepas” by Farruko that sent the courtyard venue into an absolute uproar.
The real highlight of the set was when the music slowed down and the bass rumbled through the crowd like a hungry bear.
But, the real treat of the night was HIRIE‘s ability to synchronize with not only her band with flawless two-steps, but also with the crowd… everything started to feel as if it were a harmonious enigma. HIRIE (aka, Trish Jetton) poured her heart out before her Jannus Live appearance on social media, telling the story of how, at the age of 15, she lived with her aunt and uncle in St. Petersburg and that her uncle envisioned her playing there one day. Unfortunately, he’s no longer around, but the energy radiating from everyone felt like it sent pounding shockwaves through the ‘you-niverse’.
The night ended spectacularly, with all three bands arriving back onstage to honor Bob Marley and The Wailers by singing “Could You Be Loved”. The apex was enchanting. With smiles strewn across the stage, you felt not just the love radiating in the air, but also a bliss that seemed to pop over everyone.
As attendees spilled into the street, everyone was beaming from the extraordinary show. It almost felt like the night ended too soon and the music could have kept bumping forever. Instead, the music played on in the hearts of those who had attended, playing the rhythm to carry them to the next show.
Photography by Brian “Porkchop” Nicholson, Review by Brendan McGinley