On Feb. 27, local alternative-punk band Cedar Green performed at Planet Trog in Whitehall, Pa. Vocalist Joey Volpe, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Holzer, guitarist Harley Butz, and drummer Mickey Fernandez took the stage at 7:30 p.m. to perform for a crowd of devoted fans.
Hailing from Bethlehem, Pa., Cedar Green began in 2013 after the four musicians met on social media. Their fan base grew quickly through local performances and weekend shows in Pennsylvania’s neighboring states.
Soon after their start, Cedar Green released an album entitled The Tale of Two Wolves and opened up for bands like Sleeping With Sirens, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Alesana. Volpe couldn’t believe how successful they had become.
“There are parts of performances where we don’t have to sing because the fans do it for us. Some bands never get their music out there and we’re just fortunate that people love our songs,” said Volpe.
Fans gathered close to the stage at Planet Trog and cheered before the music even began. Cedar Green invested all their power into the performance, with passionate singing and crowd engagement that made the music so much more enjoyable. T-shirts were launched into the audience’s open arms. Volpe and Holzer frequently stood on the amps, elevating themselves above the crowd and showing off their guitar and vocal skills while the fans worshipped them in amazement.
At one point, Volpe noticed a fan in front of the stage recording the show and took the phone to give her some better angles in the video. “I like when people are up close. Interacting with the fans makes it so much more fun,” he said.
The band’s performance was one of five that night. Their set followed music from punk-alternative bands known as Teenage Bottle Rocket, Centennials, and For Our Lifetime; they preceded the final act, Trophy Wives.
Due to the limited time that Cedar Green had on stage, their set list consisted only of two songs from their album, “Akron” and “Chutes and Ladders,” and one single, “Hit the Deck.”
“‘Hit the Deck’ is my favorite to perform because the lyrics really connect with people. It’s fast and fun to sing. It also has all these ups and downs during the song where it’ll be a punk song for thirty seconds, then a pop song and then break down to a slow jam. It’s fun to play with and dance to on stage,” said Volpe.
Volpe sang as hard as he could, despite the fact that just a week before the show he underwent vocal cord surgery. He has polyps on and above his vocal cords, making singing a difficult task. Despite his medical obstacle, Volpe and the rest of Cedar Green united their talents and positive attitudes to create a vibrant sound similar to that of All Time Low.
“It hurts pretty bad,” said the singer after their performance, “but everyone wanted to be so close to us and sing along, so it was worth it. Playing on stage with your best friends and having the time of your life is the most exciting thing.”
Along with performing at local venues, Cedar Green has been working on a new album to be released on Apr. 22, entitled The One You Feed.
If Cedar Green’s new music is anywhere near as good as the performances they put on, it definitely will not disappoint.