Kendall Schmidt and Dustin Belt are finally back at it, hitting around 20 US cities in support of their debut album, "Happy Mistakes". The duo played at The Deluxe in Indianapolis on September 21st. Although many media outlets have been referring to Heffron Drive as Kendall's "new project", Kendall has actually been making music with childhood friend Dustin since 2008. They released a few tracks during their early years, had a sort of hiatus while Kendall was in Big Time Rush and just released "Happy Mistakes" on September 14th.
Opener Mike Tompkins was a familiar face to many due to his Youtube popularity and his appearance on The Ellen Show. The acapella producer played a number of covers, like Beyoncé's "Drunk In Love", as well as some of his own, original songs. During his set, it was incredibly hard to believe that all of the sounds being played were made by the human voice- he did his job exceptionally well. Although a good portion of the sounds were pre-recorded, it was an entertaining set. His high energy level coupled with the dubstep style build ups went over very well with the crowd- who doesn't love a good bass drop? It was also nice to have just one, really good opener rather than the usual two or three acts before the headliner.
Headliner Heffron Drive came out about half an hour after Mike's last song, introduced by the instrumental "Interlude" which immediately led into "Art Of Moving On". What immediately struck me was how well Kendall can really sing. Don't get me wrong, I never thought Kendall couldn't sing. I've been a huge fan of his since early 2009 and have seen him live once before with Big Time Rush and his vocal quality has always been stellar- the difference lies in the passion and emotions that were allowed to come through in this much more intimate venue. Dustin was beyond fun to watch and his guitar was allowed to take the forefront even with the songs' strong electro influences. The two's dynamics on stage (little dance moves, interactions with each other and the crowd etc.) are adorable. I was happy to see they included a few old songs while still playing the majority of the songs off "Happy Mistakes". Great energy, great music, great vibes, great people.
I'd also like to give huge props to Kendall and Dustin for being so incredibly patient and kind. After the show, they stayed to meet and take multiple pictures with every individual person who waited. Almost every other band I've seen at this same venue has simply walked to their busses, maybe gracing the fans with a smile and a wave. Even after a long day (Kendall's early morning interview with Wish TV 8, set-up, VIP stuff) they seemed more than happy to attend to everyone's requests. These two are outstanding in every way and the deserve more recognition for it.
Although the US portion of the tour finishes on Monday in Anaheim, CA, they do still have a few dates left for those of you in Mexico and the UK:
Oct 04 El Plaza Condesa Mexico City, Mexico
Dec 15 King Tuts Wah Wah Hut Glasgow, United Kingdom
Dec 16 Manchester Academy 3 Manchester, United Kingdom
Dec 17 O2 Academy Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom
Dec 18 O2 Academy Islington London, United Kingdom