Radioboxer's Magic City Ruse Release Party at the Stage, April 1

April 01, 2011
The Stage

Better Than: Any of the many other times I've caught Radioboxer live.

Radioboxer's come a long way. Who'd have thought some three years ago that this ragtag pack of scamps out of Hialeah would grow and evolve like it has? Two albums under their belt now, a live show that has morphed from a serious display of energy into something else entirely, theatrics, props and all the stops.

And as of last week, their own online stalker!

In my preview of Radioboxer's Magic City Ruse release party earlier this week, I already stated my opinion on what I perceive to be a really impressive display of growth and development between that commendable debut Radio Drama and the much more mature Magic City Ruse. But watching them perform the new material live at the Stage last night did bring that point home, and it convinced me that theirs has been a 360-degree development.

At first glance, the Radioboxer show might seem like a simple explosion of energy. It has been all along. And in a lot of ways, it still is. But theirs is a much more practiced hand now -- the ebb and flow of the show, the frenzy of distortion-driven songs and thundering drums, punctuated at key points with flair or moments of finessing the crowd. It's really a very far cry from the band's early days of bouncing around and lead singer Vanne Dazza abusing bandmates by clocking one of them as they tried to keep pace. (In a totally good-natured, caught-up kind of way, of course.)

Radioboxer's set last night was meant to showcase the new album. And it did, featuring only a smattering of old material. They opened with "Long Goodbye" off Magic City Ruse, an energetic foray into the new material. Another new track, "Welcome Home Your Majesty," which proved this was hard alt-rock business, followed before segueing into the more familiar "Emily." 

After introducing themselves and handing out a few thanks, Radioboxer whipped into the new album's title track, a full-throttle romp, followed by "Go Home" (which we hooked you up with earlier this week) and then "White Trash." And "Last Hero In Town" was among other new tracks that followed, though Radioboxer's been dropping it on fans for months now.

The bipolar power poppers took a brief pause then, presumably to catch their collective breath, before raging on, returning with the ska-tinged "Radio Broke My Heart," off Radio Drama. And then finishing with one more new track off Magic City Ruse, called "Rain Is Gone."

They came back for an encore featuring one old, one new. Nothing borrowed and nothing blue, but the new one was "Deborah." The old? That fan fave rocker, "Placebo Effect," with which they showed the crowd who's been boss since day one.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Well, as internet stalker and rabid commenter fuck radioboxer pointed out, I am friends with the band. And the fact that the relationship actually developed over the course of my covering them the past few years be damned ... I guess.

The Crowd: A totally mixed bag of hipsters and proud "Hialeah Trash."

Overheard in the Crowd: "Hey, you're pissing on my shoe!" And, once again, I apologize, good sir who wasn't even in the bathroom next to me.

Random Detail: The Stage's crunk juice doesn't fuck around.

-"Long Goodbye"
-"Welcome Home Your Majesty" 
-(We Are Radioboxer/ Thank yous/ Manager /Manni)
-"Magic City Ruse"
-"Go Home"
-"White Trash"
-(Thank you to bands press and all that stuff/CD with local bands)
-"The Story of a World That Slowly Dies"
-"Fight & Fuss"
-"Last Hero in Town"
-"Elephant Heart"
-(Little break / We got a couple more for you/Old and new. )
-"Radio Broke My Heart"
-"Rain Is Gone"

-"Placebo Effect"

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Christopher Lopez