Permanent Holiday at Jam Factory

Permanent Holiday - October 2006 

Nikky Raney's first time encounter with Permanent Holiday...

Permanent Holiday performed January, 8, 2010, Saturday night at the Jam Factory in Manchester, New Hampshire. The show was free but donations are always welcome.

Walking into RAXX Billiards there are many young adults seen playing pool and drinking at the bar. A little doorway leads to a "hole in the wall" that they call the Jam Factory, which is run by Sadi Khan.

Permanent Holiday is a band from Derry, NH consisting of four members. Lead vocalist Josh Foster (who also wears a guitar around his neck for jewelry and will sometimes play backwards), drummer Chris McCoole, bassist Zanca Holiday and guitarist Jay Band - who are known by their fans as Josh, McCoole, Zanca and Jay.

Photo taken with Nikky Raney's cell phone
 ( Zanca, McCoole & Josh)
The band is directly in front of the audience which includes three girls in their 20s drinking beer from a pitcher and a group of guys in their 20s standing around (along with Brittany Leblanc and myself who sat next in between the two groups).

The band considers themselves "rock" according to their PureVolume site, but when first hearing the band play live it sounds like a mix between The Academy Is... and Fall Out Boy; which is a nice punk rock vibe.

As the lights are dimmed and adjusted the band begins the set at 8:55 and ends at 9:25. The audience of less than a dozen nods their heads up and down while tapping their feet along with the beat. The band plays its regulars and then does a cover of "Eye of the Tiger."

For one of the songs in the middle of the set Josh (lead singer) takes his guitar off of his shoulders and hands it to one of the guys in the crowd and asks, "Do you want to play one?"

It is later found out that the guy he handed off the guitar to was former band member, Dan Baker, who joined the band somewhere in his late teens and is now 22 and looking for a drummer for the new metal band he is in.

The stage performance of the band was incredible especially considering the lack of audience and tight space. Permanent Holiday is definitely a band that could rock out and entertain a wide variety of people for long periods of time - they have the "it" factor; they have even performed twice for Warped Tour. The audience was very attentive, but it was not an audience that jumped up and down screaming the lyrics or forming mosh pits (it was just too small of a venue and too few a crowd).

Photo taken from their Facebook
(McCoole, Zanka, Josh, Jay)
Josh has great stage presence as the lead vocalist and does a great job of being entertaining and fun on-stage. However, in between each song a little more of his pompous side shines through. He continues to be fun as he flails his guitar around his neck and does his own choreography. It is clear that not only is Josh really into the music - he is really into himself. He does an amazing job of keeping the crowd entertained and laughing. Making jokes about being a diva and showing a dynamic that he has with his band mates. While he sings and is in the music he seems so sincere and relatable: coming off as the guy that would be greeting fans and giving hugs to babies.

After the set Josh was the first who was greeted  and informed that there would be a review done on the performance. He politely shook hands and said, "Hi Nikky, I'm Josh. Add the band on Facebook." Knowing that Brittany was friends with all the members of the band except Josh on Facebook I asked, "Add you on Facebook or just the band?" He seemed to just ignore the remark and started to pack up the band equipment. It was kind of sad, after being friends with and meeting so many bands it is a natural feeling to expect the friendliness, especially when with someone who is friends with [the rest of] the band. He had his back to me as I tapped his shoulder and asked, "Maybe the next show I could do an interview?" I was hoping that taking the professional approach versus the personal approach would change his persona, but even when going from "fan" to "reporter" he still rejected any sort of real conversation.

McCoole (who introduced himself as Chris when meeting up with him after the set) does something that most drummers have a hard time doing: have stage presence. While staring at the group as a whole on stage McCoole is who stands out most after Josh; which is ironic since he is in the back and was wearing black the entire time. He flails around his long hair and shows the crowd that he really is into it and having a good time. Although he doesn't have a microphone he is singing along to the song and putting his heart and soul into every beat.

After receiving a hug from McCoole he showed that he was down to earth and humble. He smiled when receiving compliments on his stage presence and finding out that there would be a review written.

"To me it is all about the music and I like to have others see that I am into it and feeling the music," he confesses as he shakes his head like a rockstar and his crazy black hair flies all over the place.

It was so refreshing to see the genuine look of happiness in McCoole's eyes as he talked about how much music means to him. He was able to show that the on stage persona that he gives as he plays the drums and rocks out with his crazy hair is not an act, but truly is mirroring the way he feels on the inside.

Zanca was interesting to watch on stage as he played the bass. When Baker got on stage and took Josh's guitar it was clear that Zanca and Baker still had the dynamic working with one another. They were playing back to back in a synchronized choreography that could only exist within band members.

Zanca knew how to work his way around the small area he had to work with and only had a few minor mishaps. It's unclear whether during the final song he purposely dropped his guitar chip or if it was an accident. Coincidently Baker was sitting in a barstool and when he noticed the chip drop he reached into his pocket and held one out in front of him - kind of like an offering just in case Zanca needed it.

Zanca stands out also for wearing his hat while performing. When meeting up with him Brittany gave him a huge hug and chatted for a bit. He was very relatable and down to earth. He seemed to be very humbled and excited to hear that there would be a review written.

Jay was on the other side of Josh with a microphone in front of him as well as a guitar. Josh and he both had red guitars, but instead of twirling it around and using it as a prop like Josh - Jay was playing his guitar. Jay may not have had the most active stage presence, but it is similar to guitarists in other bands and does not make him any less of a member or make the performance any less amazing. Jay does his part and he really meshes well with the group as a whole.

Photo taken from their Facebook
(McCoole, Josh, Zanca, Jay)
When Jay was informed that there would be a review written he kindly brought over two copies of two of Permanent Vacation's CDs with a smile on his face. He was thanked very much for his generosity with hugs and he too showed that he is humble and down to earth.

The performer who went on before Permanent Holiday had lots to say and was very conversational, but since there was another performer on stage at that time it was hard to understand all of what he was saying.

Walking out of the Jam Factory and into the bar it was noticed that no one had put any money into the donation box.

Surprisingly, the one who spent the most time conversing and interacting was the former band member, Baker. Baker was quick to talk about his history with the band starting from when he was 15 and personal struggles that he had to deal with in his life. He was very friendly and opened up. He even saved Brittany from a troublesome situation and was dubbed hero of the day.

Permanent Holiday is great live as well as when being played digitally; this band is really one that is worth seeing. A lot goes into being a band that makes it big and goes far, it takes a lot of hard work before being able to consider it a "permanent holiday."

Hopefully next post will be a band profile instead of a review (including band mate interviews, more photos, videos and information on future shows and where to obtain merchandise).

Nikky Raney - The Future of Journalism
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