Getting Homesafe for Winter Break

Jennifer Moglia, Programming Manager

When asked how he would describe Homesafe, the name that allowed him and his best friends to release multiple EPs and albums and took them across the U.S. and to the United Kingdom and Japan, vocalist and bassist Tyler Albertson sums it up in the most simple of ways.

“We are as much of a ‘band’ as a band gets,” he said. “We just love to make music and have fun at our shows with people that enjoy what we do.” 

The way Albertson talks about the past almost decade of being a part of this pop-punk band is how I believe every musician should talk about their experiences playing music. It’s clear that this trio, made up of Albertson along with vocalist and guitarist Ryan Rumchaks and drummer Emanuel Duran, is absolutely in love with everything about being in a band, from recording new music to meeting fans and playing live shows.

Formed in the early 2010s on a hot summer day in Chicago, a handful of EPs put Homesafe on the map before the major label debut “ONE” was released via Pure Noise Records in 2018. Songs like “Suits and Ties” and “Sadistic Society” had lyrics discussing hot topics of inequality and bigotry while fan-favorites “Sideways Sleeper” and “Run” made cliche topics like heartbreak and leaving your hometown feel new again.

The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t slow Homesafe down, as a new EP “What’s Mine Is Yours” and the lead single “Coming Clean” from what would become the 2021 album “Nervous Reaction” were given to fans in 2020. “Nervous Reaction” was a surprise release in the first week of September 2021, packing all the energy and anxiety of the past two years into just over 20 minutes.

Although they had been on a few tours since live shows came back in the summer of 2021, I hadn’t gotten a chance to get to a show since the end of 2019. This weekend, Homesafe’s tour with A Will Away, Valleyheart, and Sleep Cycles made a stop right down the road from Quinnipiac University at the Space Ballroom in Hamden, CT, where I got to see one of my favorite bands in the world for the first time in years.

Admittedly, I haven’t listened to “Nervous Reaction” as much as I would have liked to – way too much music has come out in the past few years and I simply cannot keep up – so I was thrilled when their setlist included tons of old favorites. After playing a cover of the theme song from “That ‘70s Show,” Homesafe’s set kicked off with “Guts,” a deep cut from their 2016 release “Evermore.”

Although it’s always been one of my favorites, I can definitely relate to this song more than I did the first time I heard it. Lyrics about struggling to feel emotions in a bleak world and being “20 years old with only these songs to save me” certainly make this track a college student’s angsty anthem.

More oldies but goodies like “Float Away,” “Relapse” and “Hourglass” helped to keep the energy high throughout the night. There’s something so special about finally getting to hear songs live for the first time in years after spending so much time screaming the lyrics in the car and in your bedroom.

The crowd’s energy hit its peak when Rumchaks introduced a song called “Mr. B,” dedicating it to its namesake and asking if anybody in the crowd knew who Mr. B was. All was revealed when he started to play the opening riff of The Killers’ iconic song “Mr. Brightside,” and everyone erupted in cheers.

“Mr. Brightside” has over 1.6 billion streams on Spotify and is universally beloved, being played at countless events from frat parties to weddings worldwide. Hearing this song live really brought everyone in the room together, especially when members of the opening bands hopped on stage with Homesafe to sing along and throw mini inflatable basketballs into the crowd.

Homesafe ended the set with “Vanilla-Scented Laser Beams” and “Two (Bare) Hands,” two of the most popular songs in the band’s catalog and two of my personal favorites. When the latter ended, I felt probably the happiest I’d ever been after a concert. They did an amazing job of warming the crowd up for A Will Away to headline the stage in their home state.


Huge thanks to everyone at Space Ballroom for helping get me to this show to write this review! We’ve had so much fun collaborating with them this semester and can’t wait to keep rocking out at more shows when we come back in January. If you’re itching to go to a concert when you get back from winter break, check out the Manic Presents show calendar here.