Load-In to Load-Out: Cruisr goes hard on their home turf at the TLA

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Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

“Hey, you look like cool guys,” says the young lady walking past the TLA. “Know where we can get some awesome pulled pork sandwiches?”

Andy States shoots a glance over at Kyle Cook, who grins and shrugs his shoulders. Both are teetering on the verge of hysterical laughter. It’s not like the two guys play in Philly modern rock juggernaut Cruisr or anything; it’s not like they’re unpacking gear from their van to headline their biggest hometown show to date on this breezy September afternoon. Staying true to their nicest-dudes-ever rep, the guys suggest Percy Street BBQ a few blocks away; the culinary tourists are on their way, and Cruisr gets back to work.

For States and his mates, the road to this point has been both steady and sudden. For years, the frontman was a full-time graphic designer and after-hours bedroom musician mixing drifty electronic beats and spacey electric guitar with super catchy pop melodies. The project was Cruiser-with-an-E back then, and in 2012, States revamped it as a live act with Cook on bass, drummer Jon Van Dine and then-guitarist Josa Lazas. They played a decent amount locally, supporting buds Little Big League at The Fire and Shorty Boy Boy at The North Star Bar.

And then “Kidnap Me” happened. It was a summertime jam released in the autumn of 2013, it was the first song Cruisr recorded as a four-piece, and Soundcloud went ballistic over it. Within a few months, the band was on the booking roster of the Windish Agency, which landed them a slot on the lineup of Firefly, as well as a tour with 1975 and a slot opening for Imagine Dragons at Wells Fargo Center, the biggest room they’ve played ever. In between, the band recorded a Key Studio Session; Lazas stepped out and Bruno Catrambone (of Former Belle and Spirit Haus) stepped in; the band signed to Vagrant and the All Over EP was released.

Cruisr has picked up a loyal following along the way, a product of their gregarious charm and instantly likable songs – which have come a long way from States’ bedroom recording days – and they’ll likely reach new fans on their current run of tour dates with Misterwives, which comes to The Fillmore on Wednesday, November 4th. (Tickets and more info can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.) On this Saturday night at the TLA, however, the band’s true believers turned out in force – and we were there following along with them, from the moment the van pulled up out front.

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Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

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