Transviolet at the Montage Music Hall Rochester, NY 3/8/20

Once in awhile, a band comes upon the scene and it is crystal clear that it isn’t some run of the mill generic band. They have something special that makes them stand out. Transviolet has this rare musical genius of creating music that has deep-reaching poetic lyrics wrapped in soothing melodic reverberations. The experience of seeing Transviolet perform live is an audio-visual treat full of colors and light, making it is hard to believe that this band isn’t yet selling out stadiums.

Sunday night’s show was something of a homecoming for this band, as 3 of the 4 members of the group; Michael Panek, Jon Garcia, and Judah McCarthy grew up in Rochester. They were playing to a hometown crowd of homegrown fans. There is a clear chemistry between the members of the band. Although Sarah McTaggart, the lead singer, garnishes the lion’s share of attention with her exceptional showmanship, dancing, and haunting voice, she makes sure that the audience never forgets that she is part of a band.

Transviolet played a seamless 15 song set. Most of the songs were from their most recent and self-released album, Born to Rule, which this tour is promoting. They made sure to fit in many of their fan favorites, such as ‘Bloodstream’, ‘Night Vision’, ‘Girl’s Your Age’, and ‘Pretty Head’, with the audience heartily singing along. Even though the stage at the Montage Music Hall is on the small side, Transviolet, made good use of the space with lighting and video screens. The entire show is extremely visually stimulating, as choreographed lighting mixes with the music, making a dance of color and radiance. In the constantly changing light, even McTaggart’s green hair glowed in the dark, creating a strange yet intriguing effect to the show.  

This band takes special pains to interact with their fans, from their social media accounts to working their own merchandise table. They aren’t aloof with the people who they know support them. McTaggart personally stood at the merchandise table and met with fans and sold t-shirts. There is none of the highbrow rock star attitudes with this quartet. These are artists who put so much of themselves not just into making great music but pulling off amazing shows that make their fans really feel like they got their money’s worth. Several times during the show, McTaggart even got down on her knees in front of fans, clasped their hands as she sang. This group has a way of making each person who sees them in concert feel like they are performing just for them. Transviolet live performances demonstrate why they are the new “it” band that is on the verge of conquering the world, one fan at a time.