Sound Scene Express

SafetySuit and Royal Teeth Exhilarate at Stage AE

SafetySuit and Royal Teeth
The Club at Stage AE

February 15, 2017

Photos and recap by Whitney Lerch

There was a line of folks waiting along the sidewalk, outside of Stage AE on February 15th, in the cold and snow, anxious to get inside to hear Royal Teeth and SafetySuit. That line, in that weather, was the first sign that this was going to be an exceptional Wednesday night. Royal Teeth, a foursome from Louisiana, took the stage first with their upbeat set that started off with the title track from their¬†latest EP Ameteurs before quickly throwing it back to the beginning, with “Heartbeats,” which you’ll find on their first first EP Act Naturally, that was released in 2012. The energy that they have on stage is infectious. The crowd was pressed against the rail and were thrilled, gathering around with their phones recording when Gary Larsen heaved his floor tom over and jumped the rail, to play among the dancing fans. After several more songs, from a variety of their releases, they closed their set with “Wild,” which you’ll find on Royal Teeth’s full length album Glow, that was released in 2013. The group has gone through a few changes over the years, but it seems they’ve found themselves with their current state and the newest, 3 month old release Ameteurs, proves it. In fact, they sold out of CDs and there were some folks with some pretty long faces leaving their merch table. You’ll want to grab the EP and make sure you catch them the next time they stop in the ‘burgh!

Next up was SafetySuit, who I have to say was the original reason that I had planned to cover this show (though after interviewing and seeing Royal Teeth live, for the first time, I’m thrilled that I can now add them to my list of “must-see’s” every time they are in town). I’ve seen SafetySuit perform live several times before and can’t get enough of their live performances. Lead singer Doug Brown is an energetic, charismatic powerhouse and the group has delivered an intoxicating performance each time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live. Last Wednesday night was no exception to the high standard they’ve set. With the first two songs, “You” and “This City,” from their self-titled latest release, they hit the ground running and didn’t slow down once. You can’t help but get exhausted just watching Doug, as he truly pours every ounce of energy and emotion into each word he sings. They powered through a full 14 song set, drawing from albums spanning the last 9 years, but half of them coming from their most recent album that was released in November of 2016. The room drew closer to the rail with each song, everyone singing along and even a little guy, who looked to be about 8 years old, front and center in awe of this exhilarating show. Now for the typical “Whitney lives for a good cover” part of this night…Hallelujah. Seriously, Hallelujah. They covered the late Leonard Cohen’s iconic “Hallelujah.” SafetySuit has been performing this song for years, but the passion and respect that they exude playing it now, is something that everyone should get to experience. It’s honestly one of the most overwhelming performances I’ve ever seen, from anyone. It’s a performance that I wish never had to end. It’s a performance that I’m certain would stop Leondard Cohen himself in his tracks. It’s a performance that those guys should truly be proud of. I don’t know how they go on after that song, but they always do and the energy just keeps mounting with each tune. After a 14 song set, the guys left the stage, but quickly returned for a 4 song encore, including “Looking Up”, “Better”, “Never Stop”. Not to be outdone by Gary Larsen, of Royal Teeth, Doug hopped the rail and went out into the crowd, singing and taking selfies with a number of lucky fans, before closing out the night with “Stay”. I was buzzing after that show and honestly can’t wait for both Royal Teeth and SafetySuit to return to the 412.

Royal Teeth Setlist:
Hold Me
Mais La
Is It Just Me
Kids Conspire

SafetySuit Setlist:
This City
Let Go
Staring At It
Wherever You Go
Numbers Or Faith
Anywhere But Here
Beat Of Your Heart
These Times
Get Around This
Holding On
On Your Side
Looking Up
Never Stop


Royal Teeth


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About The Author

Whitney Lerch

I've always loved music and there's nothing better than live music. There is just something so special about experiencing the music for yourself and feeling the passion that comes with a live performance. So, when I got into photography several years back, it only made sense to merge two of my favorite things in life. With no formal training, I bought myself a decent camera, after getting frustrated with the sub-par images I was getting with my point and shoot. I headed out and started wasn't pretty at first, but I fumbled my way through, did some google and YouTube searches and taught myself how to use my new favorite toy. I started out taking photos at concerts on my own, any time a venue would let my DSLR in to a show, but I wanted more and I wanted my photos to mean something. Sound Scene Express offers me that and offers so much to the local music scene in Pittsburgh. With all of the unbelievable musical talent in the city, as well as all of the great touring musicians that come through, I'm honored to be able to capture moments from some of the best performances you'll find in the city, to share with the community. I spend my days practicing medicine, taking care of some incredibly sick kids and Sound Scene Express has offered me truly therapeutic outlet that I am passionate about and thankful for. There are some unbelievably talented musicians here in Pittsburgh and I'm thrilled that I get to help share their work with you all!

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