Inhaler at The Crofoot in Pontiac, MI

Inhaler drives a legion of screaming fans into a frenzy on their North American tour with support from Junior Mesa.

Junior Mesa from Bakersfield, CA warms the crowd up with a short, but energetic and fun set. From the get-go the whole band is engaged with the crowd, even taking selfies with a fan’s camera. At one point, the drummer videos the crowd while dancing across the stage which has many in the crowd laughing. Their music mixes a blend of many genres including indie, alternative, pop, and rock that make every song different. Several songs start slow and then build into rocking drums, and bass and guitar jams. Many in the audience are having a great time; singing along, jumping, and waving their hands from side to side. Junior Mesa puts on a great show and has the fans all warmed up for the headliner. Their set includes “Ordinary” as well as the closer “Listen Close” from the 2021 EP Cirque Du Freak.

Inhaler from Dublin, Ireland takes the stage to deafening screams from the mostly female audience. They kick it off with the title track from It Won’t Always Be Like This which has the fans bouncing and singing along. They follow this up with the fast-paced “We Have To Move On” which keeps the energy high in the room and features a great drum and bass line groove along with some catchy guitar riffs. The song title is appropriate as it certainly got the crowd moving. They slow things down a bit with “Slide Out the Window” and then pick it back up with the popular single “Ice Cream Sundae” from 2019.

Inhaler consists of Elijah Hewson on lead vocals and guitar, Robert Keating on bass, Ryan McMahon on drums, Josh Jenkinson on guitar, and Louis Lambert on keyboards. For those that have not yet caught on to Inhaler, Elijah is the son of Bono from U2 fame. Not that that is a bad thing, but certainly not something that needs to be focused on as Elijah and Inhaler are talented with a fresh sound. They have been creating a buzz over the last few years with some singles and their 2021 debut, full-length album It Won’t Always Be Like That. They are still building up their fan base in the United States, but already have a loyal set of fans who will wait in lines early to get a spot along the rail up front. Clearly Elijah is a major focal point as most of the girls up front have their eyes glued on him with cell phones snapping pictures and capturing video. He is by far the most active member of the band, moving around the stage including teaming up on jams with Josh.

“When It Breaks” is one of the highlights of their set and a song that got airplay here in the United States. It features some flashing lights that give a cool strobe effect to go along with the chorus. The fans at this point are letting it all out as they jump up and down throughout the song. After “A Night on the Floor,” they play another upbeat song, “Who’s Your Money On?” which keeps the crowd bouncing until they slow it down at the end with Elijah’s vocals soaring and beams highlighting him. They follow that up with “My King Will Be Kind” and “Totally,” both slower songs where you can hear the crowd singing out loud.

Elijah tells the crowd, “let’s start shaking this place a bit” as they launch into “In My Sleep,” a catchy song with a cool drum and bass line along with a unique guitar tone and some jamming by Josh. It definitely gets the room shaking as just about everyone is bouncing at this point. They keep the energy high with another highlight song, the highly popular “Cheer Up Baby.” It starts a bit slow but quickly takes off with some more rapid-fire riffing by Josh and Elijah leading the crowd in singing along. 

They close out the evening with “My Honest Face” which has Elijah wearing a pink cowboy hat to the delight of fans. Before exiting the stage he says, “thank you very much, nice to meet you.” It is an excellent show that many in the crowd will not soon forget. It was like one big party with the fans dancing, jumping, waving, and singing along the whole time. Kudos to the crew for the excellent lighting and clear, solid sound that made the show even better. Catch them on this tour if you can.  They have a bright future and will probably be playing to larger crowds the next time around.

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About Gary Pahlow 62 Articles
Gary is located in Rochester Hills, MI and has been officially photographing and writing concert reviews since early 2016. His main music interests are metal and hard rock, but he is also a fan of most genres including alternative, indie, jazz, and even some pop and country. When not covering or attending concerts, you can find him traveling with his wife or watching the Detroit Red Wings.