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Emblem3/MKTO 

When: Sun., July 28, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $17.50 ADV, $20 DOS
Bassist Keaton Stromberg started playing piano when he was only 4 years old, and he joined his brother’s band Emblem3 before he was 10. He says that having a recording career was only a “dream” at the time but after an appearance on The X Factor in 2012, that dream is becoming a reality and the band’s full-length debut, Nothing to Lose, arrives on Simon Cowell’s label this summer. “Simon’s been great. He’s fully supported us from the beginning. He was so nice and so supportive. He supported us doing what we wanted. Still even now, he oversees what we’re doing.” The album includes “Sunset Blvd.,” a breezy tune that evokes the hip-hop/rock/reggae of Sublime, a band that Stromberg cites as an influence. While the group is ostensibly a “boy band” and Stromberg embraces the label. “For whatever reason, there’s a negative thing that goes along with that,” he says. “But it really is what we are. The only difference is that during our live shows, we play instruments. On the X Factor, we weren’t allowed to. That’s what sets us apart.” (Jeff Niesel)

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