Opening acts are often subject to playing for empty rooms and unenthused crowds, but it takes a dedicated, unique performer to put on a show even when no one is watching. Vitium proved that its band is composed of such artists who are willing to give it all whether they’re playing for a small crowd or a packed house.
The band opened for The Floorwalkers on Friday, July 8, at The Beachland Ballroom. The audience hadn’t reached capacity nor the energy level of excited concertgoers yet. Nevertheless, Vitium played a lively set, demonstrating musical versatility as the six musicians blended tight R&B and rock instrumentals with hip hop and pop vocals.
The dynamic ensemble is becoming a Beachland staple, performing on a near monthly basis at the venue. In an interview, guitarist Jesse Hernandez said the group is in writing and recording sessions for its sophomore album, an EP targeted for an August 2011 release.
“I think this album is going to have more of a cohesive sound than our last one because we’ve all been settled in with each other for a bit, and I feel that we’ve got a more musically defined style,” Hernandez said.
Vitium released its debut album, Oxygen Planet, with Goon Trax, a Japanese label affiliated with Media Factory, in 2009. The 11-track record was recorded at Cleveland-based Ante Up Audio with the help of multi-platinum, award-winning artist Michael Seifert.
The band received accolades with its release in Japan as the re:plus-produced remix of “Never Looking Back” hit No. 3 on the Japanese iTunes hip hop charts. According to Vitium’s website, the group was also featured on multiple compilation records that have all reached No. 1 on the nation’s iTunes charts in that musical genre. Locally, songs from the album received airplay on Q104, Radio 92.3 and widely heard college stations.
Band members said the songs being recorded on the new album were primarily written for live shows.
“They’re songs that we’ve been performing live for a while, but we haven’t had the time to really sit down and record them,” said Jerry (JL) Lang, keyboardist.
Vocalist Nicholas Wonder (Smalc) said the lyrical content flows along the same socially conscious themes that manifested on Oxygen Planet.
“At the same time, we’ve also done some fun songs,” Wonder said. “It’s still very lyrical in terms of witty wordplay. Even if it’s just a fun song, I want it to at least have something involved that you’ll go, ‘Oh, that’s different.’”
The Rhythm Report will continue tracking Vitium’s progress in the local and global music scenes. Fans can follow the band on various social media sites including Facebook and Twitter for more information on the upcoming album and future show dates.
Written by Priscilla Tasker
Written by Priscilla Tasker