Arrested Youth, Irontom
740 Water Street SW
Washington, DC, 20024
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Everything that's worthwhile in life starts with an idea, but in order for that dream to be fully realized it has to be followed up with hard work, creativity and hope. Those traits lie at the core of DREAMERS, a project that was born out of frontman Nick Wold's seemingly impossible dream of rock stardom. “I originally went to New York University when I was 18 to study jazz but while I was on that path, I realized that I wanted to communicate to people in a way that was more accessible and aligned with my personality,” he explains. Correspondingly in 2014, Wold decided to move into his dingy practice space in Bushwick, Brooklyn, so that he could afford to work one day a week and practice guitar five hours each day. “I had a $20 gym membership so I could shower and the space was teeming with rats and graffiti, but looking back it was a really positive time for me to immerse myself in trying to write and find my own voice when it came to songwriting.”
Luck would have it that as soon as the songs started coming together, Wold met bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Nelson and they decide to join forces. “Nelson was in the perfect point in his life when we met in the sense that he had been in tons of bands and had lots of experience but he wasn't sure if he was going to do music anymore,” Wold explains. “It kind of smacked him at the right time.” From there, true to their moniker, things started happening at breakneck speed for the band. They released their self-titled debut EP later that year and DREAMERS' first single “Wolves (You've Got Me)” was soon in rotation on SiriusXM's Alt Nation, a nearly unprecedented milestone for a new act. The group got lucky once again when they linked up with drummer/vocalist Jacob Wick, who replaced the band's original drummer after the band relocated to Los Angeles in 2015, and began touring full-time. The following year Fairfax Recordings released DREAMERS' debut full-length This Album Does Not Exist, which featured breakthrough songs like “Sweet Disaster,” and the band followed that up with a pair of EPs, LAUNCH and FLY, in 2018.
From experiencing the arena-rock grandeur of landing a coveted opening slot on Stone Temple Pilots' 2015 U.S. tour to performing at the Meadows Music & Arts Festival alongside Jay-Z and Gorillaz, there have been plenty of highs for DREAMERS over the past five years. But there have also been a fair share of crushing lows when it's come to dissolving relationships and personal struggles -- and that duality is present all over the band's second full length, LAUNCH FLY LAND. “The first two EPs were all about this big breakup that I had been through and these songs were written in the aftermath of that, so in a sense this album is really the sound of me discovering myself,” Wold explains. From feeling like an outcast who doesn't fit in on the sweetly syncopated “Vampire In The Sun” to the aura of loneliness and longing at the core of “Insomniac,” there is plenty of alienation inherent in the album.
However that's balanced out by songs like the album's infectious first single “Die Happy.” “I wrote 'Die Happy' after I was coming out of the emotional weight of a breakup and starting to fall in love with the love song again,” Wold explains. “I'm obsessed with the Beatles, especially their early material which was so joyful, so I wanted to write a song in that spirit. It's just about those small moments that you have that make you think this is a good life and you could die happy.” Similarly, Wold describes “Someway, Somehow” as the most honest love song he's ever written. “It's about all these beautiful wonderful feelings but the last lyric is 'someway, somehow, I'll let you down,'” he says, “it's beautiful but also really sad at the same time.” Wold's perspective was further expanded by his meditative approach to musicianship and psychedelic experiences in the desert that opened his mind to new ways of thinking – and that existential bent is evident on songs like “Celebrate.”
While the band originally intended on releasing a series of three EPs that began with 2018's LAUNCH and continued with FLY, the band ended up writing so many songs for the final installment of the trilogy that it organically morphed into their second full-length, recorded by the band's longtime front-of-house sound technician Tyler Tedeschi. “Making this album was a really fresh way of doing things for me because we essentially had two years to keep writing and come up with as many ideas as possible,” Nelson explains. “In the past it's always been crunch time and a lot of deadlines and I feel like having this type of a timeline allowed us to get deeply creative.” Along the way DREAMERS also enlisted help from their friend, Joywave vocalist Daniel Armbruster. “Alternative doesn't have to be rock anymore when it comes to instrumentation, it just needs to go a little deeper than what the mainstream has to offer,” Wold adds.
Although most of us can't say that we had Stone Temple Pilots' late frontman Chester Bennington buy us hotel rooms on tour so we wouldn't have to sleep in the van, the sentiments of triumph and tragedy on LAUNCH FLY LAND, are universal and DREAMERS are happy to have come out on the other side with these songs serving as an affirmation of the experience. “We can't wait to get out on the road and share these songs with people,” Wold summarizes. “In the end, that's what this is all about.”
If you’ve been dreaming of ditching the rat race to live life on your own terms, perhaps you should look to Ian Johnson – otherwise known as Arrested Youth – for inspiration.
On Sept. 27th the singer/songwriter released his debut LP, FEAR, a searing, nine-track album dedicated the youth of the 21st century. Johnson considers himself part of a “new alternative” class. Deeply influenced by acts like Kid Cudi and The Red-Hot Chili Peppers, Arrested Youth found a refreshing way to channel his frustrations towards a series of social issues faced by our generation with his defiant voice.
“The album reflects our state of mind, growing up in a world controlled by social media, the press, mental illness, violence, and extreme uncertainty,” shares Johnson. “We need to look within ourselves to understand who we’ve become as a society.”
Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Johnson began writing lyrics at the age of 15. In 2016, he graduated from Indiana University with a triple major in business, and took his shot at the American dream by accepting a coveted job in Anheuser-Busch's’ Global Management Program. Within eight months, he was offered a promotion and a raise that would require 60+ hour workweeks. Johnson turned down the offer to pursue music full-time.
“Working in corporate America was a struggle,” shares Johnson. “I found myself waking up every day feeling like a prisoner. I started writing music again as an outlet to express my frustrations.”
Los Angeles based indie rock band formed in early 2012 in Malibu, CA.
Zach Irons (Guitar)
Harry Hayes (Lead Vocals)
Dane Sandborg (Bass)
Daniel Saslow (Keys)
Dylan Williams (Drums)
Advance GA $17 | Day of GA $20 | Premier Plus $40
- Full dinner and drink menu available
- The Premier Plus section is a raised area with reserved seats and tables. There is a dedicated server for faster service.