Classic Crime performs songs from newest record

by Peter Duell

The clash of The Classic Crime’s guitars and the beat of drums could be heard throughout the Hixson Union Building. The fans in attendance said their performance went beyond expectations. The performance was energetic and the band brought a strong stage presence.

The four-member band played many songs from their latest album, “Phoenix,” which was released in August. The album broadened and progressed their style beyond their traditional roots.

“We’ve always been known for our ability to meld accessibility with experimentation,” Matt MacDonald, lead singer and guitarist, said about their new album. “I think we’re less afraid to do what we want this time around. We were less afraid of trying new things, of dreaming up parts that we previously would have discouraged because of our inability to pull them off live.”

Based out of Seattle, The Classic Crime started in 2004 like many other small, independent groups do — with a few guys just playing music together. For MacDonald, music is a passion, a voice through which emotion can be expressed in the form of riffs and chords.

“Music has been a way for me to name my struggles over the past few years,” MacDonald said. “The best thing for me is to hear these songs done and know exactly what I felt when I wrote them. It’s meaningful to know that somebody out there will feel the same way.”

As the band began to develop their talents and grow in popularity in early 2006, they released their debut album, “Albatross” and signed with Tooth and Nail Records, a record company predominantly known for releasing Christian artists.

In its first week of release, “Albatross” grossed more than 4,000 sales, the highest in Tooth and Nail history. The sales allowed The Classic Crime to gain momentum and esteem, according to Tooth and Nail. Though respectably successful, MacDonald felt an urge to do more by expanding their musical abilities and experimenting with different sounds.

Apparently the new methods were successful, because responses from critics and Whitworth fans who attended Thursday’s show indicated pleasure with the new style in comparison with the old.

“The Classic Crime’s first two albums were really good,” freshman Cooper Budden said.  “They were exactly what their band name suggests — just classic modern rock music. They played a lot of their new stuff at the show and I can’t get enough of it. I hope they continue in this direction because there’s so much room for higher potential.”

Although the band’s style has progressed, The Classic Crime’s foundations have remained the same.

They are signed with a Christian label, so many people think of them as a Christian band, but they emphasize their neutrality when it comes to faith.

“We believe faith is personal, and can be only held by an individual person,” MacDonald said. “To entitle a group ‘Christian’ would be to assume that the group has a collective soul, or at least individual souls tied to a solid collective belief. Not everyone in our band is decidedly set in their faith, and we respect that.”

The Classic Crime will tour through November with The Rocket Summer and William Beckett.

Contact Peter Duell at

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