The journey to this point in time has been a roller coaster ride for Icon For Hire – filled with ups and downs. However, there’s something to be said for the duo, Ariel and Shawn Jump’s persistence and unwavering motivation to stay on track despite encountering a few speed bumps. The Illinois native’s You Can’t Kill Us Tour feels like more of a celebration of the band and fans’ independent accomplishments, each night than anything else. Filled with intimacy, passion and beloved music, Icon For Hire’s first legitimate tour since Vans Warped Tour in 2015 is an experience to behold.
Along with Stitched Up Heart, Icon For Hire welcomed a close-knit crowd to local Charlotte club, The Rabbit Hole. The venue’s coziness created a warming environment for two bands that lead the pack when it comes to fan appreciation. Between greeting a few supporters at the door or simply sharing the same rest area, there was a feeling of togetherness – much like the idea that Icon For Hire has promoted over the better part of the year.
The Los Angeles natives (Stitched Up Heart), fronted by Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner pumped energy into the quint club, opening with “Finally Free” and “Turn You On.” Despite sharing a small stage, each of the five band members moved and rocked about as if they were performing an arena show. The synchronized headbanging from Mixi and her guitarists has become a staple of Stitched Up Heart show’s and one of the more rousing parts of their performance.
Photos by Jared Allen
“Event Horizon” and “Never Alone” followed, two of the band’s more popular tracks off their debut album Never Alone. Ever since the release, Stitched Up Heart has grown considerably as band, shown by their nomination for Best New Talent in the upcoming Revolver Mag awards. The quintet’s stage presence is intoxicating and it’s difficult not to raise the hand-horns in appreciation, especially when Mixi decides to launch herself into the crowd.
With the stage overly warm, Icon For Hire entered through The Rabbit Hole’s front doors, concealed by the windows’ heavy black tint. Upon bursting onto stage in front of the vibrant green and pink stage lights, the duo broke into “Supposed to Be,” one of the first tracks released from their independent studio album You Can’t Kill Us (and the track for the music video that includes their fans).
Between “Iodine,” “Nerves” and “Get Well,” Icon For Hire pleased the audience performing tracks that helped propel the band to their personal pinnacle. The mix of older and newer songs created an all-encompassing setlist that didn’t miss a request.
Photos by Jared Allen
Cheers flooded the venue and echoed throughout as the pink-haired Ariel traipsed back and forth across the stage while Shawn Jump and his iconic blonde mohawk hung from the water pipes that lined the ceiling. Throughout the 15-song setlist, there was never a moment of disappointment and the on-stage duo always appeared to enjoy the night as much as the fans did. It was an undeniably unique show – Ariel prefaced “Know You Know” by unveiling the song’s meaning about girls in the music world and then proceeded to invite a handful of female fans to sing the song with her on stage.
As expected, Icon For Hire closed out the night with “Make a Move” and “Off With Her Head,” but unexpectedly added a cover of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” – an interesting addition that coincided with Icon For Hire’s style. The energy, excitement and enthusiasm was everlasting and as Ariel outlined prior to the show, Icon For Hire’s You Can’t Kill Us Tour certainly emitted the vibe that the performance was more of “victory celebration” than anything else.