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Driving Down Memory Lane with The Driver Era in Silver Spring

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The Driver Era is without a doubt the show of the spring and will put you in the mood for good music and warmer weather. On a lovely spring Tuesday, the line to get into The Fillmore Silver Spring was wrapped around the building down the block farther than I could possibly see. The Fillmore Silver Spring staff is some of the most efficient I’ve ever encountered, moving fans into the venue at lightning speed. Once inside, the building was already packed an hour until VALÉ with at least half of the main floor already filled and the balcony was getting crowded.

VALÉ

To start off the evening VALÉ took the stage for an incredible set. This was my first time experiencing VALÉ’s music, but it most certainly will not be my last. This talented singer and songwriter from Colombia broke out hits in both English and Spanish to get the crowd going including chill like that and lo tengo mal. I personally loved getting to experience music in both Spanish and English during her set as it showcased her unique perspective as an artist well.

In addition to impressive vocals, her stage presence was mesmerizing. She had everyone in the room hooked and on the edge of their seat with her dancing and moody lighting that accented her high energy music well. By the end of her performance multiple fans were grappling to get hold of the two setlists on the stage to take home as a memorable keepsake.

The Driver Era

Waiting for The Driver Era to take the stage, the room was electric. In order to keep the energy and vibes, the house lights remained down and the stage remained lit for the pause between sets. Every five or so minutes, the crowd would begin screaming… giving me a jump scare thinking the band had taken the stage early. A group of fans in the front row who had befriended a security guard also invited me to join their friend group for the evening, an offer I graciously accepted :). The entire venue felt like The Driver Era could not possibly come on soon enough, and once they took the stage no one wanted them to leave.

Driving down memory lane and taking the scenic route to stunning new music with The Driver Era at The Fillmore Silver Spring.
Driving down memory lane and taking the scenic route to stunning new music with The Driver Era at The Fillmore Silver Spring.
Driving down memory lane and taking the scenic route to stunning new music with The Driver Era at The Fillmore Silver Spring.

One of the fantastic things about The Driver Era, that is not particularly common in other tours, is that they change their setlist with every show. In my opinion, this is a massive treat to the fans because the element of surprise as to what the opening song, and the rest of the set, will be keeps fans buzzing and on their toes. It truly elevates the show as a whole to another level.

On this particular evening the set started off with OMG Plz Don’t Come Around played stationary in low backlight to set the mood. The anticipation grew and grew and grew until it felt like the whole venue was buzzing. The second the first song was finished, The Driver Era took off with Feel You Now and Get Off My Phone. The fans were screaming as both Ross and Rocky danced around the stage. It is also worth noting that while not listed as an official member of the band, their brother Riker also plays alongside them and is a phenomenal showman to say the least.

While the fanfare was loud of prevalent for every song they played, there were several crowd favorite moments including their performance of #1 Fan and a cover of Pony by Ginuwine that had sent pulses racing.

Driving down memory lane and taking the scenic route to stunning new music with The Driver Era at The Fillmore Silver Spring.
Driving down memory lane and taking the scenic route to stunning new music with The Driver Era at The Fillmore Silver Spring.
Driving down memory lane and taking the scenic route to stunning new music with The Driver Era at The Fillmore Silver Spring.

My personal favorite moment was when Ross stopped to talk about how cool he thinks it is when people say he was their childhood. For those unfamiliar, Ross played Austin Moon on the Disney Channel hit series Austin & Ally which ran for four seasons from 2011-2016. I would be lying if I did not admit to having watched the show myself and that’s why I nearly burst into tears when Ross finished his monologue about childhood with a rendition of the Austin & Ally theme song, Can’t Do It Without You. I had checked the setlist from the previous night (before I realized that they changed it for each city) and had not seen the song on the list so I was caught totally off guard by the performance (which I am positive will be one of the highlights of my year), and I most certainly was not the only one. In the video footage I took of the moment, you can barely hear Ross as the entire venue screams the lyrics back to him.

And The Driver Era is certainly not afraid of breaking out other old music for their setlist as well. In Silver Spring Ross also played On My Own, a song he did for Teen Beach 2. While not on our setlist, in other cities they have covered R5, a criminally underrated band that existed from 2009-2018 comprised of Ross Lynch, Riker Lynch, Rocky Lynch, Rydel Lynch, and Ellington Ratliff. The Driver Era’s nods to both childhood nostalgic and their past musical endeavors are special, tying together fans from previous eras of their career into one massive fan base. The choice to include such previous hits really allows fans, myself included, who have been around for the evolutions to feel seen and acknowledged throughout the set.

Overall, I cannot recommend this tour enough. Whether you know them as The Driver Era or you’ve been around for Austin & Ally, Teen Beach Movie, and R5, Ross and Rocky Lynch bring a powerhouse performance and a healthy amount of nostalgia to the stage, and I for one can’t think of a better combination.

SETLIST

OMG Plz Don’t Come Around
Feel You Now
Get Off My Phone
Malibu
Heaven Angel
#1 Fan
Low / Pony (Ginuwine cover)
Rumors
Afterglow
Can’t Do It Without You (Ross Lynch song)
On My Own (Ross Lynch song)
Forever Always
Cray Z Babe E
San Francisco
Take Me Away
Giveuwhatuwant
Nobody Knows
Fantasy
Preacher Man

ENCORE

Heart of Mine
A Kiss

Show Date: 04.23.24 // Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore // Driving Down Memory Lane with The Driver Era in Silver Spring
Photos & words by Liz Baummer

Liz Baummer
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About author
I'm a Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD based concert photographer! Fun fact: I learned most of what I know doing sports photography in college!
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