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Headlines a Sunday show at the Viaduct

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With every band out there in the trendy all-ages scene, or in the pop rock genre in general, sounding homogenous and just plain boring, Valencia, a Pennsylvania product scheduled to play the Viaduct Sunday, has a lot to prove. The meaning of the band’s name seems to change on a regular basis. There’s a Wikipedia article that claims Valencia is named after a location in Spain, and an article in Smash Magazine that claims the band is named after a type of orange. Luckily, Valencia guitarist Brendan Walter answered that question for me this week, saying “The band’s name is from the book Slaughterhouse Five — the main character’s wife’s name is Valencia and is a large and in-charge woman who he makes fun of all the time.

“Kind of like us,” Walter claims.

Fair enough. Valencia is definitely taking charge.

The band is taking off on a nationwide tour this month with Houston Calls, hitting up some of the more notable all-ages venues across the country. It just so happens that the Viaduct will house them while they are in Tacoma: a larger show for the fledgling venue, but one that should draw a number of ticket holders and help with the constant lack of funds.

Valencia plays show after show and hopes to deliver “basically just a good time,” says Walters, later offering that the band tries “to do just what (we) do and not overcomplicate things.”

That means no comedy routines or bits in between songs to keep fans entertained, and no antics like back flips, which some pop-rock bands have been reduced to in the past.

Valencia is straightforward.

According to Walters, the guitarist has been watching the music scene go “in a direction that frightens (him).” To compensate, Valencia tries to “stay away from the auto-tuned, dance pop, quantized music that is out there and try to bring it back to real music.”

So, don’t expect Valencia’s work to sit alongside Fueled By Ramen releases. The band produces nothing that warrants the purchasing of neon colored merch that blinds listeners from the actual quality of the music. Walters says the band is inspired by such past icons as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, and “experiences of family and friends” rather than repetitive radio hits.

Sunday, March 8, at the Viaduct, Valencia will give anyone, any age a reason to believe: something we could all use a rather healthy dose of.

[The Viaduct, with Houston Calls, Fight Fair and The Coldfront, Sunday, March 8, 7 p.m., $8-$10, 5412 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.472.1948]

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