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Thirdstory: A Step Above The Rest

Thirdstory: A Step Above The Rest

What’s up everyone, it’s your friendly neighborhood ginger… Derek! Join me for the next few moments as I guide you on a journey of a night with Thirdstory, the trio from New York thats vocals will soothe your soul (I know what you’re thinking, but I’m one of those rare gingers with a soul). In celebration of their debut album ‘Cold Heart’, Thirdstory, consisting of Elliott Skinner (vocals/guitar), Richard Saunders (vocals/keyboard) and Ben Lusher (vocals/keyboard), set out on their spring tour to show the world how much they’ve grown since they first got together to record some cover songs back in 2014.

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To prove the power of cover songs, their version of Sam Smith’s ‘I’m Not The Only One’ alone has caught the eyes and ears of almost 3 million people since it went live on their YouTube channel. That, along with countless other hits, have also allowed them to acquire over 100,000 subscribers. I was first introduced to these incredible artists back in 2016 when I saw them opening for Tori Kelly on her Unbreakable Tour and I have to tell you, I have been anticipating this album ever since. During that performance I was hooked once I heard their original songs such as ‘Grows Old’, ‘Searching For a Feeling’ and the catchy ‘G Train’ which now features Pusha T on their album.

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I was lucky enough that back in 2016 they had released their ‘Searching EP’ but I craved more than the three songs included and the wait for the new album was worth it. ‘Cold Heart’ takes this group of three even farther into the musical universe and I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t let you know about the soon to be hit song off the album, ‘Still In Love’. I can’t stop listening to it and you’ll fall into the same loop once you hear it! You may have seen them on the Be Encouraged tour with Chance The Rapper back in 2017, which included performances on SNL and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

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I know, I know, I told you I was taking you on a journey of the night, so now that you know a little more about them let’s begin shall we. We spent our Wednesday evening at Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, NC on the next to last stop on their spring tour. On this tour they had the ever elegant Grace Weber grace (no pun intended) the audience with her presence.

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This Grammy Award winning artist from Wisconsin is in the process of completing her first studio album but she’s already proved her awesomeness performing on Showtime at the Apollo and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oh yea, she also co-wrote and sang with Chance The Rapper and Kanye West on the first song ‘All We Got’ of Chance’s Grammy Award winning album ‘Coloring Book’.

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She doesn’t hold all that talent to herself though, she recently launched the non-profit Music Lab, Inc based out of Milwaukee to offer free music education, career prep and open mic performances to high school students.

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From the moment she took the stage and sung the first note the audience knew they were in for a treat. I have to tell you right now, this woman has some pipes and the crowd absolutely loved her soulful performance. At one point during her set she invited the crowd to sing along with her and be part of her choir.

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Let’s pause for a moment… we all know that these moments when the crowd sings can either sound just alright or they can take the show to a whole other level. Well… Charlotte came to sing at this show and that they did. The sound of the crowd in this private venue was downright spiritual. I was personally impressed as to how amazing it sounded, I knew then that the rest of the night was going to be incredible.

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After Grace serenaded us with a few more songs it became a norm to hear from the crowd things like “Yes girl”, it truly set the tone for a show with a sense of friendship and community that made you feel connected to random strangers. 

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As Grace wrapped up her set it was time to clear the stage for the boys of Thirdstory. It wasn’t long before they took the stage, and when they did the crowd went crazy but with a passion unlike most shows.

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You could tell that the fanbase for these harmonizing fellows was strong and it was shown in the excitement on everyone’s face.

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What sets Thirdstory apart from most other groups out there is their pure, undeniable, soothing, soulful, insane vocals. Vocals are front and foremost in every song, with the background being filled with the sounds a guitar being played by Elliott or the a keyboard by either Rich or Ben.

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At one point during the set Ben introduced us to the man driving the heart of some of the songs, the drums, being played by “the fourth member of this three man band” said Ben speaking of their drummer Zach Mullings.

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As the night went on the songs became more and more beautiful and powerful. We were also comforted by the band telling us that although some of the songs can seem dark and depressing “it’s okay not to be okay” reassuring the crowd that things will get better if you’re having a hard time. That led us into a song titled ‘I’m Coming Round’ which was an emotional song that slowed everything down and gave goosebumps to some in the crowd, including myself. As the song ended I heard someone in earshot to my right say “I’m not crying, you’re crying” and as I looked around I noticed some of the crowd wiping tears from their eyes. It was incredibly moving and a memorable moment of the evening.

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As we moved forward we got treated to a wide range of vocals that called for “you betta sing” to be yelled out from the crowd multiple times. One of the things I love about this band is that each of the three members have their own time to shine throughout the songs they have created, so you can really appreciate what makes this trio so astounding.

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They closed out their set with a stripped down cover of ‘Many Rivers To Cross’ originally by Jimmy Cliff that BLEW MY MIND! At this point you can probably tell I really enjoyed the show and encourage you to listen to them sooner rather than later.

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Even though the spring tour is wrapping up, you’ll want to keep an eye out for what they may have planned next. Like their brand new Jam In The Van – Thirdstory (Live Session) album or the music video for Still In Love (Ft. Eryn Allen Kane). Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to stay up to date on any new information. Make sure to take the time to check out these guys, they are only going to grow more and more.

See full gallery of the night.

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