After playing 10,000-seat amphitheaters, large arenas and some of the biggest venues around, mainstream rock band Lifehouse comes to town next week to play a much more intimate setting – Memorial Hall.
Lifehouse plays Friday, Aug. 1, at the Hall. Quite possibly the most successful rock band to play the 1,500-seat venue, Lifehouse brings with them an energetic live show and a handful of hit songs that have not only earned airtime on radio but also have appeared on popular TV shows such as One Tree Hill, Smallville, The Hills, and Grey’s Anatomy.
The band, which became hugely successful in 2000 with its hit single, “Hanging By a Moment,” released its fourth studio album, Who We Are, last summer. The three-piece band of singer/guitarist Jason Wade, drummer Rick Woolstenhulme Jr., and bassist Bryce Soderberg, have never played Plymouth, but gigged in March at the Orpheum in Boston.
“We definitely took some chances. It was kind of a risk playing the Orpheum,” Wade said from his Agora Hills, Calif., home. “But once we took that risk, the tickets started flying. It was important for us to make that next move. The smartest thing we’ve done is that we’ve stayed on the road. Now we control our destiny.”
The band has toured extensively since 2000. The musicians wrote four albums along the way, beginning with No Name Face. The band sold more than 2 million copies of that debut disc. The guys then released Stanley Climbfall, which critics didn’t exactly embrace. In 2005, the band dropped Lifehouse. Two years later, Who We Are came out. Since its release, it has sold more than 500,000 copies.
“It’s been great,” Wade said. “We’ve had mixed reviews. The first album was huge, the second not so much. Then we came back with the third and fourth. Fans are connecting with this one.”
Wade said Lifehouse has become that, “Oh, that’s who plays that song,” type of band, particularly when new fans come out to see them perform live.
“It’s definitely interesting,” Wade said, referring to the band’s ever-increasing fanbase. “I remember when ‘You and Me’ came out; we had 14-year-olds at our shows. They didn’t know ‘Hanging by a Moment’ because they were only about 7 when it came out. Our songs have been on shows and radio, and they didn’t know us.”
Lifehouse, particularly Wade, has earned a lot of praise and accolades for a recent venture – creating a song for a commercial for Allstate insurance. The company asked Wade to write a song for its Safe Teen Driving campaign.
“I was a little skeptical. I had never written for a commercial, but as soon as I saw the commercial, it moved me,” Wade said. “I wrote it, recorded it, and it happened really naturally.”
The video for the song, “From Where We Are,” appears on www.allstateteendriver.com. The song hit home for Wade, and he felt that recording it for Allstate would make teenagers more aware of the potential dangers of driving.
“It was really important,” Wade said. “Being 16 years old, a really good friend of mine died in a head-on collision which had nothing to do with alcohol. I saw what that did to his family and friends. I think anything we can do to make people aware of it helps. Everyone’s connected in some way at some point. I’m from LA, and I see some really crazy stuff. I’ve seen a lady painting her toenails and eating a muffin while driving. It’s crazy.”
Lifehouse recently released the third single from its latest disc. Wade wrote the emotional and moving “Broken” for a friend who needs a kidney transplant.
“We were pretty much finished with Who We Are. We had 11 tracks done,” Wade said. “I flew out to see a friend of mine, and he had really bad health problems. It broke my heart to see him. He was barely recognizable, but mentally he was still positive. I stayed up late with my guitar, and it just poured out of me. I played it the next day, and he broke down. It’s the most inspired song off the new record.”
Songs such as “Broken” and “From Where We Are” hit Wade hard when he plays them in a live setting. When the emotion of the lyrics catch up to him, he does his best to play through it.
“Sometimes I feel it more than others,” Wade said. “Sometimes I think about the lyrics when I’m singing, and when I play it live, I can really feel it.”
Wade said that when Lifehouse plays Memorial Hall, fans can expect to hear all the hits, packaged in an energetic performance that will leave the audience in awe.
“Talking to people who’ve seen us live over the years, they don’t realize how many songs they recognize,” Wade said. “It’s a pretty high-energy set. I still really enjoy recording and performing live. We’ve been on the road a good eight years. We still have that energetic connection with the crowd. You miss your family and home, but music is the part you still love.”
Tickets for the Lifehouse show can be purchased by calling Memorial Hall at (508) 747-1622, or you can buy tickets online at www.memorialhall.com/events.html. Ticket prices begin at $27.50. The show begins at 8 p.m. Plymouth’s The Widescreen Edition opens the show.