Ten years ago Cartel released their debut album—Chroma. With hits such as “Honestly” and “Say Anything (Else),” it’s widely regarded as one of Cartel’s best albums. In February, they announced they’d be performing the album front-to-back on a 10-year anniversary tour. WXCU had the chance to see them perform to a sold-out crowd at Skully’s Music Diner.
Driver Friendly opened the show with horns, keyboards, and catchy choruses. Forming in Texas in 2002, the band self-released two albums, and signed to Hopeless Records in 2012. Since then, the band released their most recent album, Unimagined Bridges, and they’ve performed on Warped Tour. Even as an opening band, their performance was impressive, and their momentum only seems to be growing with each tour.
Also hailing from Texas is TEAM*. The band stated that they were a little out of their realm on this tour, after touring with Third Eye Blind and the likes. Even though their sound may have been less pop punk than some Cartel fans are used to, the band seemed to fit right in. Be sure to check out their newest album, Good Morning Bad Day, released on South By Sea Records.
Hit The Lights
Ohio pop-punk favorites, Hit The Lights, slayed the stage as usual. Since seeing them on Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This to Memory Tour (check out our review here), the band released Summer Bones. Their newest album may be their heaviest yet, and it was a treat to see them perform a few songs off of it. The band had fill-in members on guitar and drums, but they still performed with solid energy and technique.
Since 2003, Cartel has seemingly been going non-stop; they’ve released four full-length albums and toured across the world. Cartel still bravely chose to embark on a two-month long tour in celebration of Chroma, with most dates back-to-back, and even a few dates touring the UK. Despite their exhausting schedule, Cartel still brought their A-game to Skully’s Music Diner. The band took the stage with wide grins, and performed the entirety of Chroma as if they had just released it. In ten years, Cartel has gone through a series of changes, including changes in their lineup and their sound. It’s clear that the members of Cartel are no longer in the same state as they were when they released Chroma, but the band managed to perform each song flawlessly and with an exhilarating spirit. Due to the fact that the tour is based upon playing Chroma front-to-back, their setlist came with little surprise; however, the band did have a quick encore that spanned a few of their hits from later albums.
After twelve years of albums, tours, and even a stint on MTV, it might be expected that a band has gone past their prime. Cartel has broken that mold, continuously improving their sound while still pleasing their longtime fans. Even though they have hundreds of thousands of dedicated fans, they’re still performing as if they have something to prove, and I think that’s what’s the driving force behind a band as successful as Cartel.
Many of Cartel’s upcoming Chroma dates have already sold out; be sure to get your tickets now so you don’t miss it!
Upcoming Tour Dates for Cartel:
WITH HIT THE LIGHTS, TEAM*, DRIVER FRIENDLY
4/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts
4/18 – Boston, MA @ The Middle East Downstairs
4/19 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
4/21 – Freehold, NJ @ GameChangerWorld
4/22 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
4/24 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
4/25 – Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater
WITH TEAM*, DRIVER FRIENDLY
5/06 – San Diego, CA @ Porter’s Pub
5/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
5/08 – Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
5/09 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
5/11 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
5/12 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
5/14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Murray Theater
5/15 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
5/16 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada
5/22 – London, UK @ O2 Academy