There's something to be said for positivity in the music industry. It's a rare occurrence that you manage to find a non-jaded musician who also happens to be talented – no matter what city you live in. Detroit's a tough town, and despite the fact that we have an abundance of talented individuals and bands coursing through the veins of Detroit Rock City, it's still a town that will beat down even some of the most enthusiastic individuals.
Despite my repeated name-calling ("swamp monster" and "goblin") and referencing a completely fictitious bath salts addiction, Kaleido's Christina Chriss has yet to tell me to hit the bricks. The frontwoman, besides a slight resemblance to a throwback Gwen Stefani (but definitely less reggae influence, and purely rock n' roll), really only makes up a portion of the band. And while her positive – and completely silly yet entirely down-to-earth – attitude and personality seem like they'd be a rare happenstance in this day and age, that's pretty much the way the entire band comes off.
Drummer Joey Fava is the same way. Bassist Cody Morales? Guitarists Ronnie Rosolino and Jamie Allen Burnham? Same thing there too. These are just genuine, approachable and fun folks. The term "don't take themselves too seriously" is probably an overused cliché, as it implies that someone doesn't take themselves or their craft entirely to heart. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to Kaleido. They're hard-working and positive. It's all about the approach in this business. "We're really close as a band," says Chriss, "and we really love our music. We stay focused, and keep pushing forward no matter what."
And in regards to that Gwen Stefani and No Doubt comparison, I'm not the first to make it. "We hear it every day," says Chriss, "but now that people are starting to hear the music, they compare the excitement of the live show to No Doubt, rather than the music." In reality, their sound is definitely more heart and soul, more rock n' roll – perhaps with a little pop thrown in for good measure – than the overused and obnoxious comparisons that are constantly being made. But hey, if you're being compared to a pretty well-known, household name, why fight it?
When I spoke with Chriss, it had just been announced that they would be opening for The Offspring at The Fillmore on 8/31. Additionally, they're playing the Motors & Music Experience on 8/18 – and this is just tip-of-the-iceberg type stuff, especially having just come off a couple of stellar Warped Tour dates earlier in the summer.
"August 15th we're in the finals of the 89x Battle of the Bands to open for Evanescence and Chevelle at DTE on August 24th," Chriss says (very excitably, I might add). "We're also playing Motors and Music on the 18th, and then opening for The Offspring August 31st at The Fillmore. I'm singing the National Anthem at Comerica Park on September 1st at the Tigers vs White Sox game and Kaleido is doing an on-field acoustic performance – We're the only artists to do this in 2012. And we're playing Arts Beats and Eats Sunday, September 2nd at 5 p.m.!" (It is also worth mentioning that Chriss' level of enthusiasm and commitment to her band is likely unmatched – her voice reaching a fever pitch of excitement as she explains these upcoming shows and achievements.)
While 2012 begins its decent into 2013 – with Kaleido's star still rising – a few things become evident. One, the sky is most definitely the limit for this band. Two, I'm entirely sure Christina Chriss and Kaleido are not on bath salts – but I sure would like to know what their secret is. | RDW
Kaleido at Motors & Music Experience • 8/18, 2 p.m.; second stage • Pontiac Silverdome • motorsandmusicexperience.com