Six Ways From Sunday is a 4-piece band that headlined a four-band Friday-the-13th August 2010 show in the waning days of the now-closed-venue North Beach in Downers Grove, Illinois. Their music offered eight really good original rock tunes, in fact a couple of great ones ("Tell Me Father" and "Hold On")...and I liked the way that they moved from tune to tune without hardly a pause in between...but they deferred to cover music (counted at least five covers) towards the end of their thirteen-song set. Bands sometimes have a "not-the-best-they-could-do-show" and I believe this may have been the case here (I would like to re-review the band in about a year from now). The set may have gone on a little too long for the musicians, tiring both themselves and the listeners...not sure...but whatever the cause was, I know from hearing their recorded work that they have great potential for commercial success with a "wall-of-sound" that combines and showcases very good alternative-rock song-writing with metal-based guitar lines. This is an instance where I think the band is much better sounding studio-recorded than live. Even though I heard it in their music, the energy of performance was missing visually on-stage. At times the guitar and drum work, although very good, would drown out the lead singer and the lyrics would become unintelligible...maybe a more careful sound-check procedure prior to showtime would help here. During the course of the first three tunes I did not catch a song title announcement...the fourth tune entitled "Tell Me Father" was the first song to capture my attention with expressive lead vocals by Francesco Roti containing noteworthy lyrics (probably the best one of the show), the fifth tune was declared to be a "new song debut" but I did not catch the title (if it was mentioned), on the sixth tune it started out very strong but the guitars buried the lead singer, the seventh one was the first of four cover tunes, the eighth song was called, I believe, "Hold On" which featured the drummer Tony Rotkvich doing a more than adequate job and on this one the band really came together with a song that offered up very nice soulful lyrics, however, the ninth tune the band seemed to fall apart on (again no title), then for their tenth they sailed into what they claim Joe Chavez (band/talent booker for the venue) considers to be "The Best Song In The World"...it was a not-quite-up-to-par rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" with lyrics that were aimed at poking fun at Chavez. The next two tunes were covers and the final song of the set was the original "What If" (I think). Their internet presence needs to be a little more professionalized if they want to garner more marketability. They have a substantial MySpace page but it looks like their namesake site is still under construction. They also have a good start on a YouTube channel and I understand they are about to release a professional quality video for the tune "Blind" which is currently getting the finishing touches and should be out by summer's end. Once it is available I will post it here assuming its embedable. Currently they are in the studio re-tracking thier first album "Long Road Ahead" and are in the process of working on a second one called "Breaking The Chain"...so they may not be doing live shows for a while until these projects are completed. The "Boys Of Six Ways" (a.k.a. SWFS) show a lot of promise to go commercial successfully someday and their sound is intriguing...they have a growing fan-base that is quite large for a band that was essentially started in 2003 when Frank Roti and Tim "The Hatter" Hughes discovered their mutual interest in making music...having formed a band, they named it Six Ways From Sunday in 2005 and then in 2006 they did their first show...but only as recently as 2009 did they acquire musicians that fit with the vision that lead vocals/guitarist Frank Roti (who writes the music) and vocals/bass guitarist Tim "The Hatter" Hughes (who writes the lyrics) have to showcase their talent with the help of driving-drummer Tony Rotkvich who was brought into the group along with (and by) the more-than-able guitarist Jason Moore. I have mentioned this in other articles before...a band is so much better when they stick to their original songs...these guys don't need to do covers...spend the time you have on stage doing your own stuff...it sounds "way better"...this band proved it in the show I saw them in. As I said, they have much promise and a great start...if they can survive the challenges that lay before them as they work on getting the band more "together" professionally-speaking, the road ahead may not be such a long one after all...just keep the compass steady and concentrate on one direction...forward. 'Nuff Sed.
Video of Six Ways From Sunday doing the tune "Tell Me Father" live at Reggies in Chicago:
Video of Six Ways From Sunday featuring Frank on lead vocals doing the tune "Hold On" live at Reggies in Chicago:
Francesco Roti - lead vocals/guitar
Tim “The Hatter” Hughes - bass/vocals
Jason Moore - guitar/vocals
Tony Rotkvich - drums/vocals