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Live Review: The Driver Era w/ Valé @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 4/23/24

The Driver Era recently performed at The Fillmore Silver Spring as a part of their East Coast spring tour. They previously visited The Fillmore in the summer of 2022. This tour marks their fourth headlining tour as the rebranded Driver Era.

In 2018, brothers Ross Lynch and Rocky Lynch formed their new band The Driver Era after previously being members of R5. R5 was composed of siblings Ross, Riker, Rocky, Rydel, and their family friend, Ellington Ratliff. Their popularity spiked among preteen/teen audiences when Ross Lynch landed a lead role on the Disney Channel show Austin & Ally (2011-2016).

The show Austin & Ally was about the escapades of a pop singer (Lynch) and a shy songwriter in an unlikely partnership. It was a staple Disney show for many kids born from 1998-2005. Ross also acted in Teen Beach Movie (2013), a Disney Channel original movie that was a summer hit. Since then, Ross had been known for his role as Harvey Kinkle on the Netflix series the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020).

Today, Ross remains a big draw for The Driver Era, as seen at The Fillmore Silver Spring on April 23. Upon approaching the venue, the line to get inside stretched down Fenton Street and wrapped up around Cameron Street. Hundreds of mostly teenage girls huddled together on the main floor of The Fillmore; it filled up within 30 minutes of doors opening. Colombian singer Valé opened the show and performed bouncy pop songs like “bololo” and “chill like that.” She taught the crowd Spanish during a song, and had the crowd hold up heart hands for a group photo and the end of her set.

Watch an official visualizer for “chill like that” by Valé on YouTube:

The Driver Era took the stage appearing backlit for their first song “OMG Plz Don’t Come Around.” The rest of the band joined Rocky and Ross onstage to perform “Feel You Now,” a song with an infectious bassline and a euphoric chorus. The song came out when I was in high school, and has always been a personal favorite. Their third song performed was “Get Off My Phone,” their newest single, which details the pain of scrolling through social media in the aftermath of a breakup.

Watch the official music video for “Get Off My Phone” by The Driver Era on YouTube:

At one point in their set, they played their song “Low” with an interlude of “Pony” by Ginuwine. The screams from the crowd were deafening as Ross Lynch got down on his knees for a guitar solo. About midway through the set, Ross Lynch commented on how fans often tell him how he was a big part of their childhoods. Lynch played into the nostalgia by performing the Austin & Ally theme song “Can’t Do It Without You” followed by the song “On My Own” from Teen Beach Movie.

Their last song before the encore was “Preacher Man,” which was the first single released under The Driver Era. It’s truly a song to jump to and belt at the top of your lungs. They went offstage and quickly came back for the encore where they played “Heart of Mine” and “A Kiss.” All the phones in the room went up and deafening screams broke out once Ross Lynch ripped his shirt off during the final song.

Most of The Driver Era’s appeal comes from the nostalgia factor — R5, Austin & Ally, Teen Beach Movie — but I’ve gotten to see them grow as a band since seeing them live for the first time in 2019. They’ve put on an undeniably fun show every time, and I’ll gladly catch them whenever they drive by the DMV area.

Here are some photos of The Driver Era performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring on April 23, 2024. All photos copyright and courtesy of Carolin Harvey.

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