Plain White T's move beyond one-hit wonder status
While it wasn't a massive, viral hit like "Hey There, Delilah," the success of the Plain White T's single "1, 2, 3, 4" (which recently passed 1 million in digital sales) means the Chicago-based band will forever escape the one-hit wonder label.
More importantly for guitarist Dave Tirio, he can look back at the past 12 years with no regrets.
"Throughout it all, there was this feeling of wanting to be right," Tirio says in advance of the Plain White T's concert Monday at Mr. Small's Theatre in Millvale. "The feeling that this kind of gutsy decision we made to drop school and drop all the things we were supposed to do in the eyes of our parents was the correct choice. In our stubbornness, we pushed on harder for that reason. I did, anyway, because I made my parents really, really angry when I dropped out of college."
Tirio quickly adds that his parents became more supportive when it became apparent he and his band mates -- singer and guitarist Tom Higgenson, drummer De'Mar Hamilton, guitarist Tim Lopez and bassist Mike Retondo -- were serious.
"After about a year, when they realized we weren't screwing around, they got on board," Tirio says.
It took the rest of the country a lot longer. The band had been touring constantly -- Tirio estimates that the band has visited Mr. Small's at least five times -- frequently as a supporting act, just eking out a living. Then Higgenson's ode to steeplechase runner Delilah DiCrescenzo became an Internet sensation and a No. 1 single in 2007, two years after it was first released.
To this day, Tirio has no idea why "Hey There, Delilah" became popular. Even more perplexing is how the band seems to be defined by that single song.
"It's kind of shocking; two years later, we have a hard time escaping it, every day," Tirio says. "In every interview, in anything where people kind of have a limited knowledge of the band, they're still asking us crap about Delilah. They're still asking if she's a real person. It's like, wait a second: If you image search Plain White T's on Google, you'll get a picture of her before you get us. She had a freakin' profile in People magazine. She was a question on 'Jeopardy!' It's crazy how far it's gone, and it will probably even take a few more years for any of us to understand how weird it was."
Those who only know "Hey There, Delilah" and "1, 2, 3, 4" might be surprised that most of the Plain White T's music rocks more than it purrs. Songs from the album "Big Bad World," notably "Natural Disaster" and "That Girl," showcase the band's ability to wed guitar-driven songs with harmonies that are inspired by the Beatles and the Beach Boys.
The current Three Part Harmony Tour is meant to showcase the band's diversity, with the first section devoted to rock, the second part an acoustic, unplugged set, and the third stanza a mix of everything from the Plain White T's dozen years.
"When you're doing a headlining tour -- and we haven't done too many headlining tours -- you want to make it something fresh and special and fun," Tirio says. "We thought by splitting it up, it would be novel idea. And it has been really cool; it works really well."Additional Information:
Plain White T's
With: Company of Thieves, Days Difference
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Admission: $15, all ages
Where: Mr. Small's Theatre , Millvale
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. Steel to relocate corporate headquarters on former Civic Arena site
- Allegheny judge Woodruff, ex-Steelers corner, to run for Pa. Supreme Court
- Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
- Pirates trade Davis to A’s for international signing bonus money
- Starkey: No explaining Steelers, AFC North
- Finding balance between toughness, excessiveness key for Penguins’ Downie
- Westinghouse in talks for potential $20B deal in Turkey
- NFL parity makes playoff chase a multi-team muddle
- High winds, temperatures expected Monday in Western Pennsylvania
- Pittsburgh City Council to vote on property tax increase
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth