June 09, 2009

The Appleseed Cast show review

So, I'm really posting again. I'm sorry I just stopped, I got so caught up in the end of school that blogging just kind of dropped off my radar (to everyone that e-mailed me: check your inbox). Now that summer is upon me, I'll be posting again, trying to get music out to the people. This first post is a show review + two albums of a great band, The Appleseed Cast.
'Never ever, ever, ever let anyone rob you of your joy' The Appleseed Cast -- June 4

Ah, The Appleseed Cast... I remember getting Low Level Owl Volume 1 and Peregrine as a yung'in, and never really giving them a serious listen until my friend started raving about how good Peregrine was last year. Now, after seeing what may have been the most disappointing show of my life, I am glad that the aforementioned friend was not in attendance. The show started out well enough, with the first band, Jukebox The Ghost, taking the stage a little late but still doing an awesome job of playing an entertaining and fun set with just two band members. Kudos to those guys for being willing to stick it out and giving Columbus their all either way. I picked up a copy of their new album, and even though it is different (people in the band were sick and not in attendance), it's still a solid album, although I have to say I liked the two-piece more.
Tommy from Jukebox the Ghost
Photo Credit: Bryan Duffie | Flickr
The show went downhill when Jenny Owen Youngs took the stage, however. Playing a set that basically sounded like a bad knockoff of Rilo Kiley's The Execution of All Things (which is one of my favorite albums), Youngs seemed to draw in the drunk, hot, twentysomething hipster wannabes. In all seriousness, these people weren't even in American Apparel or anything. It was bizarre. But, still, her set, except for the moments when the band was allowed to really rock the fuck out (this happened exactly once), she just sounded like every other thirtysomething country/folk/rock crooner with the ability to play guitar. Not awful, but nothing I would really spend any further time/money on.
Jenny Owen Youngs
Photo Credit: Bryan Duffie | Flickr
Then, tAC was up next! I was more hyped than ever. It was finally happening! I was about to see one of my favorite bands in the same venue I saw another one of my favorite bands (Circle Takes the Square way back in '05)! Even the constant playlist of Black Moth Super Rainbow's Eating Us, which was an odd choice of music to play before the set, couldn't dampen my mood. I even met a really nice guy with a camera, Bryan, who was taking pictures of the set and was just really genuine and into the band. After taking to him for a while and watching tAC's people set up, the band finally came on.
Christopher Crisci from The Appleseed Cast
Photo Credit: Bryan Duffie | Flickr
After a brief intro jam and some fiddling around, the band launched into their first song. I noticed that there seemed to be a large amount of noise coming from behind me, but being right up on the stage and wrapped up in the experience, I didn't give it much thought. A few songs in, however, I began to hear screams of 'FIGHT SONG!' from the dreaded Drunk Fan. I focused back on the stage and hoped it would go away, but soon, drunken WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOs and YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHs started bubbling forth from the back, even in the middle of songs. The band ignored it, however, and played on. Soon though, Bryan and I got the first taste of our enemy for the night. A group of four people, one girl and three guys, all plastered out of their minds, started dancing. And not swaying dancing either. Full-on club dancing. With grinding. During an Appleseed Cast show. Eventually, their drunken carousing led the girl to jostle Bryan a few times, for which they stammered out an apology and then went back to dancing. Eventually, these jostles and screams turned into the most annoying and shrill things I've ever experienced at a show. Eventually, Bryan left his front-and-center spot for his favorite band ever and moved more towards the back. This meant the Drunk Fans got to move up right to the front, right next to me. After keeping their antics up, I eventually took a few steps back and ended up next to another fan who was into the show, and I was happy. Soon after that though, Drunk Girl started flailing her arms about and hit the new guy in the face. Drunk Guy #1 came back, apologized, and then kissed the new guy where Drunk Girl had hit him. He shrugged it off, and went back to enjoying the show. Later in the night, Drunk Guy #2 came up to me and motioned like he wanted to dance. I was extremely angry with their antics by this point, so I firmly placed my hand under his ribcage, looked him in the eye, and said "Get the fuck away from me". Now, if he was sober, this guy probably could have knocked me out with one punch, but instead he just kind of stood there looking glazed-over and confused. Immediately, the new guy walked up, separated us, and I spent the rest of the show (which wasn't much by that point) in relative peace.
Aaron Coker from The Appleseed Cast
Photo Credit: Bryan Duffie | Flickr
After the band's set ended, I shook the hands of drummer Aaron Coker and bass player Marc Young, thanked them, and went back into the crowd. I found the peacekeeper guy, shook his hand, and he gently brought me down to his level and said "Never ever, ever, ever let anyone rob you of your joy" in my ear. It struck me profoundly, and I realized that I had basically forgotten that there was a show going on and instead concentrated on a group of four drunks. It really hit me hard, and I was disappointed that I had been so easily distracted from one of my favorite bands. Later, I found Bryan, thanked him, gave him my e-mail so he could send me the pictures he took (they're gracing this entry right now), and chatted for a while about the show. Basically, I left Circus feeling extremely disappointed in myself, but balancing it out with a good deal of hope.
In conclusion, my thanks:

Bryan: Thank you for being an all-around nice guy and being willing to chat with me during the show.
Peacekeeper Guy: Thank you for bringing me back to Earth, helping me realize my flaws, and giving me some good advice for the future.

The two girls from the beginning who left after Jenny's set: I thought I heard "Ask him" coming from one of your mouths multiple times, and then other comments about asking me for something. In the future, don't be afraid to talk to random people, although I'm kind of kicking myself now that I didn't initiate contact.

The Columbus scene: Thank you for, for the most part, being neutral at shows and not being huge embarrassments like those drunk fucks.
Marc Young (bass) and Aaron Pillar (guitar) from The Appleseed Cast
Photo Credit: Bryan Duffie | Flickr
And now, the music!

The Appleseed Cast -- Two Conversations
This album showcases a much more traditional rock sound. Songs like 'Fight Song' and 'Innocent Vigilant Ordinary' have become fan favorites, while still being able to appeal to people just getting into The Appleseed Cast.

The Appleseed Cast -- Sagarmatha
(Note: This is the cover of the CD, because that's what I uploaded. The cover of the vinyl LP is absolutely gorgeous.) This album is one of my favorites of 2009, just because it is beautiful! Sweeping soundscapes and rich textures make this the perfect headphone and speaker album. Listening through headphones allows you to catch all the little intricacies, while listening through speakers (especially if the album is turned up and my eyes are closed in a dark room) makes me feel like I'm soaring on the sonic clouds this album produces. If you don't have it already, get this album!

Also, be sure to explore the rest of the band's catalog. Some bands claim to be ever-evolving, but The Appleseed Cast is probably the only band for which that is 100% true. The switch from Sunny Day Real Estate-style indie on The End of the Ring Wars to the current soaring post-rock group has been beautiful to watch.

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