Finish Ticket on path to pop stardom 

click to enlarge Finish Ticket
  • Courtesy photo
  • From left, Nick Stein, Michael Hoye, Brendan Hoye, Alex DiDonato and Gabe Stein make up Finish Ticket.
With a new, major-label deal, Bay Area pop quintet Finish Ticket is busy promoting a recording that, frankly, is a little bit old.

“It definitely feels odd. We wrote that album when we were 19 and 20. It feels old to us already,” says guitarist Alex DiDonato, describing the band’s self-released debut, “Tears You Apart,” a collection of upbeat songs with big choruses. (Fans of Young the Giant will really dig their stuff.)

Yet the rockers, who have gained a local following, are now 22 and 23 and play today at Amoeba Music in The City to promote the Atlantic Records album, released last month. They’re also appearing at Live 105’s BFD on June 1 and at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in August.

The Atlantic re-release of “Tears You Apart” does have a few tweaks, in part to accommodate a change in the band’s lineup. DiDonato and brothers Brendan Hoye (vocals) and Michael Hoye (bass) have been around since its beginning in 2008, when they were in high school.

Drummer Gabe Stein and keyboardist Nick Stein, also brothers, missed a large chunk of the original recording sessions.

“We got Gabe to play drums on ‘Catch You On My Way Out,’” DiDonato says, “Previously, we had a studio drummer play on it.”

And the song “Bring The Rain,” which DiDonato calls the band’s “most powerful song live” was re-recorded to capture the live energy.

Finish Ticket has weathered storms that sometimes splinter bands when they move from high school to college. At first, DiDonato, the Hoyes and two former members would fly back and forth across the country to do shows on breaks. Eventually, the three decided to pursue the band full time while the others wanted to stay in school.

Although dropping out of school was difficult, DiDonato says the band members, who have supportive parents, didn’t want to miss “this one opportunity to pursue a career in music.” He adds, “We realized we could go back to school whenever we want.”

Finish Ticket has played its share of big local shows, including a sold-out 2010 performance at the Great American Music Hall in 2010.

“It was the first time seeing people sing our lyrics,” Gabe Stein says.

Due to a heavy touring schedule in their quest for mainstream success, the band members haven’t spent more than a few days at home since January. They quit their day jobs last August.

They plan to remain on the road through next March, and then get back into the studio.

“We want to be recording our next album,” says Stein.


Finish Ticket

Where: Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight St., S.F.

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Tickets: Free

Contact: (415) 831-1200,

Note: Finish Ticket also appears at Live 105 BFD (with Foster the People, MIA, Fitz and the Tantrums and more) at 11:15 a.m. June 1 at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View. Tickets are $35 to $69.50; visit

About The Author

Roman Gokhman

Roman Gokhman

Roman Gokhman has been writing about the music scene in the Bay Area since 2006, with a focus on indie rock, world music and the local scene. He's also seen U2 live more than 50 times and expects to add to that total in 2014, if their next album finally comes out.
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