We arrive in time for a band that I think is Harvard. (Dear promoters, if you want me to see all your openers, then schedule them so I can get out of work and still get dinner before the show.) They have the mumbley delivery and electronic beat of early decade hipster favorites like Piebald and Minus the Bear, but with way heavier guitars (possibly pasted in from a Mars Volta album). I had heard mixed things about them, but I like this sort of thing. These sorts of things. Whatever. It is hot as balls down here. Unfortunately, the songs often devolve into noodly guitars and chaos. The last song begins with noodling and chaos, so I’m lost before I am found. You can just imagine how it ends. A girl I presume to be the hottest band member’s girlfriend (hottest band member’s girlfriend sells the merch) is standing on a chair behind the merch table and dancing. She gets down during this song.
This feels like the most professional gig I’ve seen Empires play outside Chicago! It gives me hope. Also, Allison corroborates a popular theory when she says “Everyone involved with them is hot.” (The actual theory is that band leader Tom Conrad has no ugly friends.) I especially dig how bassist Connor Doyle is dressed as though he’s on summer break from Harvard in 1963. Super dapper.
I think the girl in front of me has a A Perfect Circle tattoo. Need to google that when I get home.
I won’t lie, I’ve heard singer Sean Van Vleet sound better. But considering that they’ve been touring pretty much uninterrupted for five or six weeks, he’s in great nick. Plus, he does this amazing thing. Instead of just being scratchy or unable to hit a note, he has this built-in vibrato. Also, it is so hot in here, that halfway through the set, the guitarists start to droop like the twentieth hour of a Depression dance-a-thon. But they keep trying! This money will be so important to their families! Like, ok, I do Excel for a living. I sit at a desk with a Nalgene full of water. And if it were this hot at my desk, I would go home in a tiff. The fact that they can still flail and give 110% is unbelievable. I need to sit down.
P.S. to Mom: I forgot to concert call, but they all want me to apologize to you about Sunday!