Have you ever seen a concert by yourself? I have come close a few times, such is the life of the avid music fan that always buys two tickets first and then finds people to go with later. My friend Evan once saved me from having to see Cat Power by myself at the 9:30 Club in D.C. - a fellow music fan, he understood and allowed me to give him the extra ticket as his upcoming birthday present (which kind of makes me sound like a selfish asshole now that I think about it). Anyway, I officially went to my first concert alone on July 30th - The Veils at the Mercury Lounge. You want to know what? It didn't even fucking matter I was by myself, Finn Andrews (frontman, songwriter) and Company were that good. I do have friends and there was a plan - my friend Jenny unfortunately moved to Chicago before we could see the band she loves so much and can be credited with bringing me into and my replacement friend bailed last minute - I am talking while I was walking to the venue I got the 'I have to bail' text. RUDE! (I am channeling Bon Qui Qui from Mad TV - 'Seccurrrityy!', watch it on YouTube, it is some funny shit.)
However, I sold my extra ticket, used bourbon for a little confidence, and marched right up to the front to watch The Veils. I had my camera and pen and pad and looked the part of the music journalist - take notes if you plan to go to a concert solo, this was a good idea. I was only a few feet from the stage because I wanted to see what Finn was going to do, he has a reputation for being a bit erratic onstage, singing with possessed passion and sweating his ass off. Here is the set list I ripped off the stage at the end:
My personal favorite going into the concert was The House She Lived In, because it is so much fun to sing. However, Calliope, Sun Gangs, and The Tide that Left and Never Came Back were killer songs live and have been solidly stuck in my head since. Here is a video of Jenny's favorite song - Sit Down by the Fire. To provide a little context, the video starts out while Finn is explaining that couples always think it is a love song (just like they do with U2's One or The Police's Every Breath You Take - I think these are the same couples that wear matching outfits on a vacation to Disney World childless). He always tells them it is explaining the death of a relationship, when everything is burning there is nothing left to do but sit down and watch it, get a little warmth from it when it is cold all around you. Good story, great song, but maybe don't listen to it when you are in that early post-breakup phase, might be kind of brutal for you.
Finn Andrews was born in London but spent part of his life in New Zealand, making him a Property of the Monarchy (POM) through and through. He has a thing for Sylvia Plath, the band name is said to have taken their name from the Plath poem A Birthday Present and has a song called Death & Co. which another poem title. The band members have changed a few times, I think for the better because the bassist Sophia Burn is hot and brings a good sound to the band. I would get their most recent CD Sun Gangs and work your way back, or download the songs from the set list. Either way, take note that this is a band du jour of mine.
Stay tuned for my tales from seeing the Kings of Leon at Red Rocks on August 9th! Here is a hint - it was from the 6th row just left of center - closer to the bathroom and beer tent.