About The Higher Tour - Sheffield
The Higher was an American pop rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada. They were originally known as "September Star". They have released three full-length albums On Fire, It's Only Natural, and Histrionics and EPs named "Pace Yourself" and "Star is Dead." The band was signed to Fiddler Records, Epitaph Records, and Sony Japan. The Higher toured with the bands Panic! at the Disco, Motion City Soundtrack, The Temper Trap, Less Than Jake, Ludo, Escape the Fate, Silverstein, Emery, Alexisonfire, There For Tomorrow, We The Kings, Rookie of the Year, The Matches, Sherwood, Meg and Dia, Quiet Drive, Take Cover, I Am Ghost, The Forecast, This Providence, Name Taken, Sing it Loud, Runner Runner, Rufio, Tokyo Rose, and others.
In 2002, performing under their previous name September Star, The Higher defeated other local bands including January's Last Call, Local 15, Absent Minded, Jr. Anti Sex League, and Halfway to win video recording time with VH1 in the first annual Las Vegas Bike Rack Battles. They frequently performed at local venues like the Huntridge and Smoothie King. The original lineup was Tom Oakes, Seth Trotter, James Mattison, Pat Harter, and Jason Centeno. 2003 saw the band sign their first record deal with Fiddler Records. Shortly after, they released their "Star is Dead" EP for Fiddler. Gaining momentum the band got on their first big tour, opening for Alexisonfire, Silverstein, and Emery. August 2004 saw the band enter the studio with producer Rory Phillips to begin work on their 1st full-length album for Fiddler. In May 2005, they released "Histrionics." It would turn out to be their last release on Fiddler Records as the label went defunct leaving the band as free agents. In June 2005, guitarist James Mattison left the band for personal reasons. Needing a guitarist, Tom Oakes found one in Robert "Reggie" Ragan who would join the band permanently in July 2005.
In late 2005 after touring with Panic! At the Disco, they received interest from several record labels, ultimately signing with Epitaph Records in early 2006. In the summer of 2006 they hit the studio with producer Mike Green , to begin work on their first full length for Epitaph. Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy remixed the song "Pace Yourself" for the record. Upon its completion, they began the Epitaph Tour, touring with bands Escape the Fate, The Matches, and I am Ghost. "On Fire" was released March 6, 2007. The lead single "Insurance?" immediately put the band on the map both domestically and internationally. Their music video for "Insurance?" from On Fire received heavy rotation on college-oriented video programming, such as MTVu. The video was shot in Las Vegas at the now imploded Frontier Hotel and Casino, and features the band performing and playing casino games with dancers. During the Summer of 2007, the video received airtime on MTV2, and was the #1 video on Fuse for 2 consecutive weeks. The band then hit the road with Motion City Soundtrack, Sherwood, and The Forecast for a 3-month run of shows. Due to artistic differences original drummer Pat Harter left the band and was replaced by Boys like Girls drum tech, Doug McCarthy in August 2007. Later on that year, the band signed to Sony Japan. Their video for "Insurance?" hit #1 on MTV Japan beating out Rihanna for the top spot. "On Fire" also broke into Japan's top 10 Billboard charts, landing at #8. In November 2007, the band completed their first tour of Japan, selling out every show.
In February 2008, the band announced that founding member Tom Oakes had left the band.
Official band statement: "The Higher regrets to inform everyone that due to personal and creative issues, Tom Oakes has decided to take leave from the band. We wish him the best in his future projects. The Higher will continue on and will perform at all dates posted. The Higher wishes to thank all their fans for their understanding, support and love during this time and hopes to see you on tour."
Tom Oakes: "To all of you, I want to thank all of you for what you have done for this band. I am personally shaken about this, but not destroyed. The band is very adamant about continuing on and I have nothing but the most faith in the world that they will not only continue, but succeed. If any of you have any questions, I am available to speak further. Thank you all again and look forward to a successful 2008!".
In April 2008, The Higher completed their first ever UK Tour, supporting Elliot Minor for nine dates alongside openers Furthest Drive Home. They also completed their first Van's Warped Tour, playing the Smart Punk stage alongside such acts as Katy Perry and Forever the Sickest Kids. Following the completion of Warped Tour they began working on their second full-length album for Epitaph Records. Again, they called upon Mike Green for production. On June 23, 2009, "It's Only Natural" was released and spawned another top 10 hit on Japan's Billboard charts, which was the title of the track of the album, "It's Only Natural." The band toured extensively the rest of 2009, including another tour of Japan culminating in playing the world-famous Fuji Rock Festival, Japan's largest annual music festival.
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