By Megan Teeling
For the very first time, seven-piece band Cliffdiver has landed in Orange County, California. Coming from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Cliffdiver played their first California show on August 31st at Programme Skate and Sound here in Fullerton. This free show was a great start to what is becoming an exciting and energetic tour for the band. On September 3rd, Cliffdiver followed Arizona natives Doll Skin in opening for 90s legends Less Than Jake and Bowling for Soup at the House of Blues in Anaheim. The seven-piece brought the crowd together not just through their energy, but also through their lyrics. Cliffdiver describes themselves as “elevator emo pop,” but musically not painted into any specific corner.
While seven members in a band sounds like a lot, each member brings their own experiences and stories to the music they create. The lead vocals are done by Joey Duffy and Briana Wright, guitars and extra vocals by Matthew Ehler and Gilbert Erickson, bass is Tyler Rogers, drums by Eliot Cooper, and saxophone by Dony Nickles. Their official debut LP, Exercise Your Demons came out on May 6th of this year and features songs such as “Super Saiyan Al Pacino” and “IKEA Strikes Back.”
Speaking of IKEA, the beloved Swedish furniture store finds itself mentioned in an older song by the band called “Lost in IKEA.” This song comes off of Cliffdiver’s 2019 EP, At Your Own Risk. The band focuses a lot on topics such as mental health and recovery, and on track one of this EP, “Elwood’s,” the lyrics chant “I’m not good enough, enough for everyone, especially myself.” But, the closing track on this EP, “Lost in IKEA,” turns the message around by saying “I know I’m good enough, enough for anyone, and finally myself.” This track is one that Cliffdiver not only performed at the House of Blues, but encouraged crowd participation during that bridge as a moment of uplifting oneself. Tears were shed by yours truly, and I am sure many other audience members that night can relate.
Cliffdiver has definitely left their mark on the west coast, let’s hope they will come back for more shows soon! For a more visual introduction to the band and to hear some of their music, check out our Tiktok for some coverage from their show at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA through this link: https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTR5Np85D/