Concert Review: A Greater Tomorrow at Cafe Acoustic in St. Joseph, MO 1/18/13

This will likely be the only article I ever write that mentions Miley Cyrus. A Greater Tomorrow is a unique band in the St. Joseph, Missouri music scene and not just because they do a Miley Cyrus song live.They play a music that isn’t all over town. It is a young man’s game playing poppy punk, but it doesn’t get much younger than A Greater Tomorrow either.

The band members are all under 20 years old and already have a pretty successful resume. They won a battle of the bands where the prize was a recording contract with Rock X Records. They recorded five songs with the prize, the Just In Time EP, released in April 2011. Their music is a direct descendant of snot-punk rock acts like Green Day, Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance. The polished poppy-punk music they play isn’t best played in bars though, much of their main audience wouldn’t even be able to get in the door at the Cafe Acoustic on January 18th because it was 21+.

A Greater Tomorrow unplugs for a show at The Cafe Acoustic in St. Joseph, MO on 1/18/13.

A Greater Tomorrow unplugs for a show at The Cafe Acoustic in St. Joseph, MO on 1/18/13.

The band would go unplugged for the show as well. They recently parted ways with their drummer so the band was down to a three-piece outfit. They elected to play an acoustic show because the new drummer wasn’t ready to step in yet as it had only been a couple weeks. The band is led by lead singer/guitarist Kelley Burford who has the young voice to swoon the young female audiences they are sure to draw. Guitarist Andy Malott and bass player/background vocalist Vincent Leonard rounded out the band as it’s three piece entity on this night.

They would bust through acoustic versions of their short snarky songs at a rapid pace. Burford would show his calm demeanor on stage and make high-school level humor jokes throughout the night. The band would do almost exclusively original songs. Their pop hooks and sing along choruses are hard to resist. Songs like “Enough” and “Tommy” (see video below) show how talented they are. “Last Night” is a radio ready pop song that is easy to envision alongside Pink and Miley Cyrus on playlists. Speaking of Miley Cyrus the band would cover “Party In The U.S.A.” Initially I thought it was a joke when the band announced the Miley Cyrus song but it proved to be true. The song actually fit in their set quite nicely since the target audience of Cyrus and A Greater Tomorrow are very similar. The strongest song of their set was “Never Giving Up” from their EP Just In Time. The chorus is so memorable that it sticks with you long after the final chords of the song are strummed.

The very young band has accomplished a lot for how old they are. They are on the road to more success with their solid songwriting abilities and stage presence. The good thing for this band is that their audience will grow and mature with the band, so they will stick around. It’s hard telling what is in the future for A Greater Tomorrow but right now, the sky may well be the limit.

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