The Write Up: Sugar in the Gas Tank's Mercy Lounge Show
After being personally invited by Live Nation to open for the one and only The Offspring on September 18th at the Brooklyn Bowl, Sugar in the Gas Tank killed their first headlining show at an established venue just two nights later at Mercy Lounge. On Monday September 20, Sugar packed the venue, even bringing in fans from their opening show. Currently, Sugar in the Gas Tank includes lead singer and rhythm guitarist Luke D’Apuzzo, lead guitarist CJ Christianson, bassist Jack Samter, and drummer Reese Marshall. When asked about their show, bassist and Rusell Brand lookalike, Jack Samter, is quoted as saying “we rocked the shit outta the place monday night”. Jack would be correct.
The show was truly memorable with Sugar starting their set with a playing of ‘Cotton Eye Joe’ to get their already eager crowd more riddled with suspense. I have truly seen no better way to start off a pop punk show before and it was quite effective to amp up the crowd. They officially started their show with ‘Bye?’, a great slow to fast progression to set the mood for the rest of the show. Luke’s raw tonality perfectly fits their 2000s pop-punk core music, bringing the crowd back to those emo middle school days.
Sugar performed their latest single - and most listened to song on Spotify - ‘On My Own’. This progression really lit up the audience. The overall fast paced and familiar song brought the set to another level, topping it off with a true rockstar guitar solo by CJ. Next was a cover we can never forget, even if it asks us to. Bringing on stage Julie Hess, Sugar covered Machine Gun Kelly’s ‘Forget Me Too’. Hess truly showed off her singing talents covering Halsey’s feature and really shone on stage alongside Sugar.
What blew our minds was Sugar’s incredible crowd engagement, especially led by D’Apuzzo. He jumped around the stage, stood on amps, and got the crowd to scream, jump, get low to the ground, and only to headbang and jump again. His stage presence made it easy for the crowd to want to follow his cues. It was not only a fun show to watch but to also be a part of. The band has great chemistry especially between CJ Christianson and Jack Samter, who’s energies were insync the entire night. Marshall kept the crowd on their toes with his hat changes including a toy fireman’s hat and viking drinking hat.
Sugar took us way back with their cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘I’m Not Okay’. Their energy and talent paid a great tribute to the beloved band and brought a gleeful nostalgic energy across the crowd. They ended their show with their first single, ‘Better Off’, my personal favorite. The headbanging earworm of classic punk-rock lyrics combined with Sugar in the Gas Tank’s energy left the crowd wanting more. They couldn’t have picked a better way to conclude the night with this head banging, let loose song.
Sugar in the Gas Tank’s show was not one to miss and a real breath of fresh air after a crazy year. Their impressive audience interactions reminded the crowd of the joys of live shows and kept every person in the venue more than happily engaged with their music and members. Even with a few pedal board issues, D’Apuzzo joked, adjusted and then killed his performance. Overall, Sugar in the Gas Tank once again brought down the house and we at The Tower can’t wait to see what else is in store. For their full setlist, check out our post on our Instagram. And don’t forget to check out Sugar on Spotify and Instagram, and follow The Tower to keep up to date on their upcoming shows and releases.
If you want to see more of Sugar in the Gas Tank, get tickets for their next show Wednesday October 20 at The End. Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 the day of, and you can find the link on our ‘Shows’ page.