CONCERT REVIEW: Sweet Chaos (Celebration, FL / 12.15.18)

December 19, 2018 by: admin

CONCERT REVIEW
Sweet Chaos
(Celebration, Florida / 12.15.18)

It was an outdoor holiday festival brimming with Disney-breathed authenticity — artificial snow flurries floating through the moist night air, shiny skates slicing across simulated ice, and a gas-powered mini train (with tires) shuttling folks about. Not-so coincidentally, this seasonal soiree was playing out in the heart of the Disney-sanctioned community of Celebration, Florida. However, my peeps and I had arrived on the scene to experience more than man-made snow, fake ice and staged yuletide glee. We had come to rock, dude.

At 7:25, the mood enveloping the downtown outdoor music hub was somewhat somber. But, by 7:30, the vibe was revving up and the crowd was rolling in, as the Dallas-based duo, Sweet Chaos hit the stage.

2018 proved a wild ride for 19-year-old vocalist / bassist Sydney Hefley and 17-year-old drummer Payton Taylor. Over the last 12 months, their crunchy combo criss-crossed the Lone Star State, hitting nearly any venue with a riser and an electrical outlet — performing with an array of artists, including newly-minted hard-hitters, Doll Skin and former Ramones drummer, Richie Ramone. Tonight’s Central Florida showcase would cap off the duo’s amazing year that also brought a recent appearance at the world-famous Whisky a Go Go on L.A.’s famed Sunset Strip.

Oozing bona fide rock star swagger, Sweet Chaos owned the Celebration stage like seasoned pros. Hefley connected with the crowd quickly and effortlessly. Accented by a super-chic red satin-like jacket, her black and silver spaghetti strap top sparkled under the stage lights as she administered rapid-fire kicks — without missing a lick. Donning a white Beatles T-shirt and sporting super-fun plaid pants, Taylor executed precision time signatures perfectly. Even while playing standing up (Slim Jim Phantom-style), her musicianship remained rock solid and impressive throughout.

Despite minimal membership, the group’s live sound is as fat as larger band configurations — with Hefley playing through both a traditional bass rig and a standard guitar setup, enhanced by an assortment of electronic pedals, while Taylor filled in any empty spaces with equally fluent left and right hand sticking.

With a slew of various other up-and-comers slated to perform tonight, the Sweet Chaos slot was concise — consisting of a fistful of staples, including their current single, “Again and Again.” The 25-minute set also was sprinkled with a couple of rocked-up holiday classics and punctuated by a set-ending nod to their musical mentors, Royal Blood.

In sum, Sweet Chaos has solid songs and delivered a superb, big league-caliber performance. Major labels take note!

-Christopher Long
(December 2018)

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