REVIEW – THE RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS
If you speak to Ronnie Winter, lead singer of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, he will willingly tell you that they used to have a reputation for being a poor live act – and a deserved reputation at that.
But 10 years is a long time in any walk of life and Red Jumpsuit have cleaned up, ditched the booze and found a happy place. And you can tell.
And if clean living means laid back rock ‘n roll, guitarist Randy Winter epitomises it. He spends the entire show chewing gum, and delivers the screams that are so important to the first album in a curious manner – eyes almost closed, mouth hardly moving.
But that’s the only calm thing about the act who, acknowledging that they are playing a 10-year anniversary tour, play plenty of tracks from their first album.
They work through all the biggest hits from Don’t You Fake It, including False Pretence, Guardian Angel and Face Down.
Sprinkled in among them are a few songs from their latest album, and a couple from their brand new EP.
Ronnie has matured with his band and he gives the air of someone who is comfortable in front of the crowd. Ever humble, he gets a look of blissful surprise on his face every time the punters respond to his cajoling for them to sing along, to sing louder and to show the band what they have.
Red Jumpsuit have changed and gone through an extensive line-up change since their debut. They now include a 19-year-old guitarist, Josh Burke, who mesmerises the crowd with a three-minute guitar solo while the other members of the band take a quick break. It’s just him and the crowd, and he milks the moment, turning his axe to face the punters and showing off his ability.
Finishing with Guardian Angel and then Face Down, the fivesome from Florida go from laidback to bouncing. It’s testimony to the songwriting and showmanship of the band that they can give the crowd something to jump to while addressing such a sensitive and often tear-jerking subject such as domestic abuse.
Red Jumpsuit have matured in 10 years and with that passing of time comes three albums’ worth of material to play. Such a pity then, that they left a large group of punters dissatisfied with their night when they called time after only an hour on the stage.
I’m a journalist specialising in sport and rock music. Can’t play either so I write about them instead.