Review: Tommy & The High Pilots land in Milwaukee (video interview, photos)

Tommy and the High Pilots Steve Libby Tom Cantillon Mike Cantillon Matt Palermo Milwaukee

Apr 23, 2013. Tommy & The High Pilots at The Hotel Foster in Milwaukee (post-interview). L-R: Steve Libby, Tom Cantillon, Mike Cantillon, Matt Palermo. photo credit: Ifelicious

The tenacious foursome that makes up pop/rock band Tommy & The High Pilots has been touring the US nonstop lately to promote their upcoming album “Only Human.” This marks the fourth album for the band, and it will be released on May 28, 2013 via Redbird Records. To help offset the costs associated with album, Tommy & The High Pilots utilized PledgeMusic with great success. PledgeMusic operates similarly to Kickstarter and IndieGogo but geared for music artists. Up until the May 28, 2013 album release date, there is still an opportunity for fans to show their support, via PledgeMusic, from simply pre-ordering “Only Human” all the way up to items such as purchasing VIP show tickets and even indulging in a private concert at their home.

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VIDEO: Ifelicious interview with Tommy & The High Pilots
(click here to view directly on YouTube)

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On April 23, 2013, Tommy & The High Pilots performed at Milwaukee’s Shank Hall. It was a modest yet surprisingly enthusiastic crowd who was undoubtedly energized by the band’s deft ability to bring their music to life and people on their feet whether playing a ballad or an uptempo track. For example, about midway through their set, fans enjoyed Tom (“Tommy”) Cantillon’s surprise dance through the crowd as the band covered “This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads. After circling the hall, Tom took a seat on the stage and pulled out a harmonica as the band went into an acoustic version of “The Limit” from their “Sawhorse Sessions” EP (download via iTunes and Amazon). Earlier in the show, I also delighted in the sobering performance of “Here in my Hands”- one of the new tracks from their upcoming album “Only Human.” Tommy & The High Pilots closed out with the song “Where to Start” from their “American Riviera” album (download on iTunes and Amazon), and I witnessed the audience mouthing the words to what quickly became a new favorite anthem of my own as I’m now catching up on the band’s repertoire.

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VIDEO: “Only Human” by Tommy & The High Pilots
(click here to view directly on YouTube)

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Not ready for the Tuesday night’s performance to be over, the crowd pleaded for an encore with shouts and clasped hands. Despite a sprained wrist, drummer Matt Palermo gave the ultimate nod for the band to return and bang out U2’s “Desire.”

My other personal favorites from the Tommy & The High Pilots’ show at Shank Hall were songs that I’ve enjoyed since previewing their “Only Human” album. Tunes such as the title track “Only Human” (see video above), “Devil to Pay,” and inspirational anthem “Get Up.”

Tom Cantillon Tommy and the High Pilots Shank Hall Milwaukee

Apr 23, 2013. Shank Hall- Milwaukee. Tommy & The High Pilots. photo credit: Ifelicious

Set List for Tommy & The High Pilots April 23, 2013 show at Shank Hall in Milwaukee

Song Album
1.) Round N Round Everynight
2.) On the Line Sawhorse Sessions
3.) Get Up Only Human
4.) Bluesy Floozie Everynight
5.) Innocent Only Human
6.) Here in my Hands Only Human
7.) Devil to Pay Only Human
8.) This Must be the Place (Naive Melody) (cover of Talking Heads song)
9.) The Limit Sawhorse Sessions
10.) Outta my Head Only Human
11.) Only Human Only Human
12.) Lorraine Sawhorse Sessions
13.) Where to Start American Riviera
ENCORE PERFORMANCE – Desire (cover of U2 song)


Tom Cantillon Matt Palermo Tommy and the High Pilots Shank Hall Milwaukee

Apr 23, 2013. Shank Hall- Milwaukee. Tom (“Tommy”) Cantillon and Matt Palermo from Tommy & The High Pilots. photo credit: Ifelicious

Here are some photos that I took while Tommy & The High Pilots were in Milwaukee for their concert at Shank Hall. They include some photos from our interview meetup location at The Hotel Foster. Additionally, you’ll find a couple of photos of Ballroom Boxer– a Chicago based band that opened for Tommy & The High Pilots.

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Tommy & The High Pilots band members include: Tom (“Tommy”) Cantillon (vocals/guitar/piano), “Mike” Cantillon (vocals/keyboard/guitar), Steve Libby (bass/guitar), and Matt Palermo (drums).

The band’s website is Also, visit their PledgeMusic page at

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VIDEO: “Where to Start” by Tommy & The High Pilots
(click here to view directly on YouTube)

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UPDATE May 15, 2013:
Here’s the latest video from Tommy & The High Pilots for “Outta My Head”

This song will appear on their “Only Human” album to be released on May 28, 2013.

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