Filed under "Live Music"


27 September 2023 • Filed under ,

The Cure, May 2023.

I went to my first concert in 1996. Alanis Morissette. South Park Meadows. Austin, Texas. It’s a shopping center now.

Anyways, it was kind of a revelation. After I regained my hearing 2 days later, it became something I’d continue to pursue to one extent or another. Since that summer in 1996, I’ve been to at least 37 proper shows. That shakes out to a modest 1.3 shows a year, but this year has seen me pick up the pace significantly.

Some of it has to do with what music is giving me right now, and a rediscovery of what live music—especially smaller shows—can do for my spirits. Some of it has to do with having such things taken away during the lockdown period of the pandemic, and internalizing the harsh truth that everything can change overnight. Some of it has to do with getting older, and wanting to hold dear what makes me happy as the finish line becomes less and less distant.

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HANABIE. at Trees, Dallas TX

21 September 2023 • Filed under ,


I didn’t go into this show with a lot of expectations, but one of the few was that it might sound a bit too thin; HANABIE. make highly-produced music, and it’s always a gamble to take that to a stage where a backing track might make everything sound more full, but kind of tank the authenticity of the show. Still, come what may, I was pretty excited to see them play.

I’m not sure what could have been left wanting from my first proper metal show. The crowd was hyped. The band came on stage waving a Texas flag, which—you guessed it—amped up the room even more. Yukina declared “you dance!” and parted the crowd with a gesture like a metal Moses to make space for a pit. “How can she make her voice sound like that?” asked my wife. No idea. It’s something else. Chika was an absolute animal on the drums; Hettsu’s hair achieved main character status (iykyk); Matsuri’s riffs chugged hard. They played a bunch of songs from the new album plus “We love sweets” and one from their first EP (“Envy”, maybe?). “お先に失礼します (Pardon Me, I Have To Go Now)” tore it up. Yukina crowd surfed. They could not be more entertaining.

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Blushing at Andy’s Bar, Denton TX

7 September 2023 • Filed under ,

I went to see Blushing play in Denton again last night. I really like Andy’s. This is the same venue where I saw them for the first time back in March. I don’t know if it’s the narrow, shotgun shape of the venue, the PA, the sound guy, or something else, but the sound was once again dialed in really good.

Blushing was great, as usual. This was the last stop on their tour, and they seemed to be in good spirits and having a lot of fun. Just like last time, attendance was pretty spare, with maybe 20-30 people throughout the night, including the bands. It didn’t matter, though; the small crowd meant it was all people who really wanted to be there.

The revelation of the night was Unwed Sailor. Holy crap. I listened to all of the bands’ recent material before going, and Unwed Sailor’s Mute the Charm was a really enjoyable listen; all instrumental tracks hopscotching a space between shoegaze, post-rock, and 80’s alternative. I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy the hell out of their set, but I was not prepared for how true that would be. They played about six songs with minimal stage banter, a projector painting the stage with abstract, trippy footage. Good artists know how to maximize the physicality of live music to their advantage, and this band killed it. The vibe was real. Band leader Johnathon Ford plays bass, and the songs grooved so hard. When they played “London Fog” about halfway through the set, the feeling was so sublime I thought I was going to cry. I mean… what? Took me by surprise. It was so beautiful.

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Blushing at Dada, Dallas, TX

29 July 2023 • Filed under ,

Photo: Eddie Chavez (Instagram: @eddie_chavez_)

I’m not one to celebrate my birthday, but something about the past year has made me feel differently. Do I want anyone to throw me a birthday bash? Lol no. But take me to a rock show? Absolutely.

I’d already seen Blushing play back in March, and was super impressed; so much so that I bought tickets to this show even though they were the opening act, and I wasn’t all that interested in sticking around to watch the headliner. I really enjoyed it, though this was my second time at Dada, and I’ve noticed it doesn’t have the greatest sound. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a hole-in-the-wall bar made of bricks and concrete, top to bottom?

Anyways, Blushing played as tight as ever but sometimes it was hard to hear the detail that had blown me away the first time I saw them. They kicked off the set with “Surround”, which may be my favorite song of theirs, starting out slow and gentle, a frenetic drum fill then uncorking the syrupy second half of the song. Closer “So Many” took on a new, more energetic life featuring the band’s signature bassist-and-guitarist-kneeling-on-the-ground power move.

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Rolo Tomassi at Sundown at Granada, Dallas, TX

12 June 2023 • Filed under ,

This was my first time going to Sundown at Granada. It’s a small venue right next to the Granada Theater, which I’d been to a number of times over the years. Sundown is primarily a bar & restaurant connected to a fairly small room with a stage. It was well-attended but not uncomfortably crowded, which is just my speed.

Opening act Pound was something else, y’all. No vocals, just a drummer and a Duck Dynasty-lookin’ dude on guitar making shredded, polyrhythmic grindsludge. Not really my thing, but they were undeniably good, especially the drummer, who swiveled between two kits throughout their set. The guitarist was wireless, and he roamed the venue a couple times, getting up in people’s faces and even going out into the restaurant area to serenade the patrons, who I’m sure had no idea what the hell was happening. It was pretty hilarious.

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The Cure at Dos Equis Pavilion, Dallas, TX

16 May 2023 • Filed under ,


I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, this would have been on it.

I really enjoy live shows. It’s something I used to actively seek out, but that’s slowly declined as the years have passed. Some of that is natural; at a certain age, the thought of driving a significant distance, finding parking, dealing with a crowd, and standing for hours became unattractive. A lull in my own excitement about music also probably had a lot to do with it. But the past couple of years have connected me with music again, and I’m happily going to more shows than ever.

In the days leading up to this night, I could imagine this show within the confines of what I knew—the songs, the faces of the band, and the large crowd I imagined would be there, singing along. But, like anything that hasn’t been experienced, imagination has its limits, and surprise is (delightfully) inevitable.

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Softcult at Dada, Dallas, TX

22 March 2023 • Filed under ,

Video still: Daniel Kirby

I’m going to be thinking about this night for quite a while.

I suppose I have SXSW to thank for this show; the band was invited to play a number of showcases last week, and made the prospect of this one additional Texas show a reality as the tour heads back toward Canada for its finale.

“The Soft Tour”—as the two bands are calling it—was unsurprisingly amazing. I’ve been following Soft Blue Shimmer ever since they shared an opening act slot with Softcult on last year’s tour supporting Teenage Wrist. They played a really good set, including my favorite song of theirs, “Sunpools”. I absolutely love their sound. 💜

Softcult didn’t disappoint, either. I never get tired of hearing familiar tracks rip in a live setting, turning them into a different animal altogether. I was hoping to hear “Love Song”, but it didn’t materialize. That’s okay; the setlist was thankfully quite long, and perennial favorites “Gloomy Girl” and “House Of Mirrors”—my first brushes with the band—came in hot and left no desire unfulfilled. The outro to “Someone2Me” was a freakin’ flamethrower, and we got to hear “Uzumaki” with the poem intro.

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Blushing at Andy’s Bar, Denton, TX

5 March 2023 • Filed under ,

I went to see Blushing play in Denton this weekend. I’d casually listened to their catalog for a little over a year, especially their latest album, Possessions. It’s a really nice collection of tunes that leans into the more angular flavor of shoegaze and sounds a lot like a Lush/Cocteau Twins supergroup. They even managed to get guest vocals from Lush’s Miki Berenyi on the song “Blame”, which is pretty damn cool for a relatively small Texas band.

The show was really great. Some bands have a hard time translating tightly-produced studio tracks to a live setting, but Blushing killed it. I thought they sounded better live, to be honest. I’m not sure what their songwriting process is like, but I imagine they must work the songs out in pretty good detail live before recording. If not, they do a great job of working out the live versions. Either way, they sounded amazing and I’m a big fan now. I would definitely see them play again.

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Imogen Heap @ Lakewood Theater, Dallas TX

11 May 2006 • Filed under ,

The Lakewood Theater was originally a movie theater built in 1938, and has now become a multipurpose entertainment space. It’s furnished in art deco style, and much of it is in its original condition. There was ample seating (which was a nice change from standing), and the theater’s retro, “from-another-time” feel seemed fitting for the artists about to perform that night…

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Metric at the Gypsy Ballroom, Dallas, TX.

16 March 2006 • Filed under ,

Sweet. Holy. Immaculate. Mother. Of. Rock. And. Roll. Hotness. Are you following me here, people? Do you see where this is going?

For the last two years I’ve been blown away by Metric. It’s been one of those bands that has stood the test of time…

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Metric at the Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas, TX.

12 November 2005 • Filed under ,

It is becoming a well-known fact across the indie rock scene that Metric simply rock, and are not a band to be missed live. Last year’s show at The Parish was so unbelievably fierce, and made such an impression, that I knew this year’s tour stop was going to be a hard sell.

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Eisley at The Gypsy Ballroom, Dallas, TX.

8 July 2005 • Filed under ,

I just love live music. Factoring in both the responsibilities of maintaining a career and the narrowing scope of live bands I care to hear, it has been a while since I’ve gone to a show. There’s a certain pervasive excitement in the experience surrounding live music; the standing in line with other fans, the watching and waiting during soundchecks, and — yes — even the pushing and pulling of a sea of people.

So it was with some excitement that I happened upon a concert listing for Eisley, the talented little band from Tyler, Texas. Jessica was the first person to introduce me to the band, and I’ve been a fan ever since. The mix of pop, folk, rock, country, and sci-fi/fantasy lyrics have earned the musical family a well-deserved following.

This was the first time we’d been to Deep Ellum which, as far as I can tell, is the place for music in Dallas. The Gypsy Tea Room and Ballroom greeted us with an unexpectedly long, snaking line of patrons waiting for the doors to open.

We got in soon enough and found a spot near the stage and a wall so that my exceeding height would not become a nuisance to the unfortunate soul who might find themselves standing behind me. I know, I’m such a gentleman. The evening began with Pilotdrift, a band that sounded a lot like the meandering lovechild of Grandaddy and Radiohead playing pirate songs on a Led Zeppelin tribute album. Yeah, I know. Talk about variety. They were actually quite good; I pretty much always enjoy the creative use of synthesisers, Moogs, and wacky audio filters. It didn’t hurt that there was a prominently-displayed Powerbook onstage. I’m interested to hear what their album sounds like because their live set seemed to really shift gears at the drop of a hat. Sometimes it seemed like 2 or 3 songs were getting smooshed together.

Lovedrug took the stage next, and the first though I had was, “Man, how bad do these guys want to be Coldplay?” Too bad they didn’t have the chops. The vocalist had a positively nauseating voice and was clearly more interested in seeing how many long, drawn-out Thom York-ish whining sessions he could fit into each song instead of attempting to enunciate a single word. More nails got hammered into their musical coffin by the lead guitarist’s histrionics and posturing. Remember Spider from School of Rock? Pretty much the same guy, minus the chestless leather shirt.

After Lovedrug’s positively coma-inducing set of nondescript whine-alongs, we finally got the goods we all paid to hear. Eisley played a tight set and delivered those trademark harmonies at every turn. As it turns out, this was the last show of their tour so there was a good amount of stage banter. At one point, one of the girls mentioned that Hilary Duff had invited them to open for her upcoming tour. Ha. They declined. There was a fair amount of new material played as well as old favorites like Treetops and I Wasn’t Prepared. I’ve seen pictures and such, but I was still a bit surprised at how young the band really is. Their music just reflects more maturity than youth. Maybe they’re just old souls.

Rough non-sequential setlist as follows:


It was a great time, and reminded us of why we love concerts so much. With the lingering sounds of the music still ringing in our ears, we hit the highway for home, promising ourselves that we’d give ourselves more chances to forget our silly problems for just a few hours of musical bliss.

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Juliana Hatfield at Stubb's BBQ, Austin, TX.

30 June 2004 • Filed under ,

At long last, Jessica and I attended our very first Juliana Hatfield show last night.

Stubb’s BBQ in Austin is kind of a small venue, but I suppose I prefer it that way. There’s a kind of intimacy there that you don’t find just anywhere. The lack of a backstage area meant that we saw Juliana making her way through the crowd several times before the show.

There was a merch table set up out on the patio, and while I held on to our spot next to the stage, Jessica headed over to talk to Juliana and to get an autograph or two. A little over a year ago, just before I got married, I was laid off from my job. It was a pretty stressful time. Not all of my time could be spent job hunting; after a week, I had pretty much felt out every opportunity I could and was waiting for callbacks. So to keep my mind off of my troubles, I began to work on some ideas that I had been tossing around in my head for a while. What emerged were two concert poster designs, one for Juliana Hatfield and one for her band, Some Girls. There seemed to be a severe lack of cool concert posters for these two acts, and I wanted to fill the void — at least on my own walls. When Jessica and I flew to see Some Girls in Chicago last year, I foolishly forgot to take the posters for the Girls to see and sign. This time, I made no such mistake. In fact, to sweeten the project, I changed the information on the poster to reflect last night’s show instead of the fictional dates and location that had previously been on there.

I was a little nervous as to what Juliana might think of the artwork, but I guess it went over as well as it possibly could. Apparenty, she loved it and very much appreciated that we brought an extra copy for her to take with her. And I now have an autographed copy of my own artwork, which is mucho cool.

Soon after The Damnwells (who were quite good) cleared the stage, Juliana’s band came out and set up in record time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band set up so fast. Juliana came onstage last, plugged in, checked her tuner, and strummed the opening riff for “Jamie’s in Town.” Her guitar sounds unbelievably awesome in the dictionary definition of the word. I think I got to see and hear more of her true guitar virtuosity at the Some Girls show — because as a three-piece band, she was the only guitar player — but I was still truly impressed throughout the whole 90-minute set. I got the feeling that every night she took the opportunity to tear into new ideas and look for the happy surprises that come from just “winging it.” All of the songs sounded amazing, but Juliana’s older material definitely got the more cheers. Songs like “What A Life” and “Mabel” hadn’t been played regularly in her live sets for close to seven years, and it was clear that the crowd was glad to be hearing some of the vintage Juliana tunes. The band seemed to be in good spirits, with guitarist Joe Keefe inadvertently launching everyone into a silly rendition of a portion of “Wonderwall” which disintegrated as Juliana’s lyrics all became “la la la la la…” It was obviously not a rehearsed number, but it was an entertaining side note.

The setlist was as follows:

All in all, it was a tremendously rocking show. Not even the unbelievably drunk girl and her dipstick of a boyfriend in the front row could ruin the encore, “Tomorrow Never Comes.” As the last lines of the song were sung, Juliana continued on for a few bars, singing “That’s all I have to say… That’s all there is to say…” over and over. And then it was over.

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It's A Great Time To Be Alive.

27 June 2004 • Filed under ,

Life is grand. You know, I just learned the other day that Creed broke up. Man, that’s awesome. The official press release on their website is replete with vagueness and offers no reason for the breakup. I think we can all surmise that The Drummer and The Guitarist got sick of The Stapp’s rockstar posturing and longstanding infection with Lead Singer’s Syndrome and had to kill the band before it got seriously weird.

The Summer of Music is underway! It began a few weeks ago with the Damesviolet show at Crabby Jack’s. What a lame place. It’s the complete and honest truth when I say that Jessica and I were the only people who were there to see the band. It was sad and awesome at the same time because we got a private show. Even though it was just us, they blew the roof off. Beaux came out to thank us at the end of the show for sticking around and being enthusiastic about the show even though no one was there.

We took our friend Sarah to see Damesviolet open for Flickerstick two weeks ago. The turnout was a much better, but I think most of the crowd came to see Flickerstick. Still, the band played to impress. Sarah is a new fan. Their set was shorter than I would have liked, but I know they didn’t have any control over that. We bought a few of the new CD’s and go them signed between sets. I’ve been playing that CD nonstop for days.

I was kind of excited to hear Flickerstick because I’d seen them on VH1’s “Band on the Run” series a few years ago. They sounded pretty good back then, but about 3 songs into their set, we decided that their live show was less that awesome and left. Beaux caught us on our way out and thanked us again for our support and made sure we were coming to their CD release party the next weekend. Cool guy, that Beaux.

Last Friday night was the CD release party in Austin at Stubb’s BBQ. Despite the small venue, Stubb’s was PACKED with fans. It was surreal, because we’ve only seen Damesviolet play to VERY small crowds in San Antonio. But Austin loves their Damesviolet, and it shows. The set was longer than usual and featured lots of great songs from both albums. They looked like they were having a lot more fun than we’d ever seen, which was a little sad because they deserved to have that much fun in San Antonio, too. It was a great show. There was an awesome drum and bass interlude by Tommy and Evan and a hysterical costume change for the encore. The guys all changed into Damesviolet tshirts, purple boas and cheesy purple sunglasses. The final song was an unbelieveably rocking cover of Billy Squier’s “Lonely Is The Night.”

Next week is the much-anticipated return of Juliana Hatfield to Austin. That show will be at Stubb’s as well. I can’t wait!

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Metric at The Parish, Austin TX

6 February 2004 • Filed under ,

Jessica and I drove up to Austin Wednesday night to see Metric play at The Parish. Other than the rainy weather all the way there and back, it was an awesome night. We got to The Parish about an hour early, finding it with the help of a seemingly homeless girl asking for change out on the street. The venue is pretty cool; it seemed like it could fit a crowd of 200 people easily, though there were only about 100 that showed up for the show. The room had Chinese paper lanterns hanging from the rafters and there were padded benches along the sides of the room so we got to sit and wait instead of stand.

Metric opened with the same song that starts off their album, “IOU.” It’s a solid rocker with the band’s signature tinge of New Wave guitars and synths. I’m pretty sure the next song was “Succexxy”, but I honestly can’t remember. They played a good one-hour set, covering lots of material from the new album and a couple of songs that must have been new or from their EP. One of them may have been called “Don’t Let Them Down”, or something like that. It had some humorous lines about not screwing up and having to face the fans who want their money back for a cruddy show. That was definitely not going to happen that night. The band played a tight, fierce set complete with Emily’s signature dancing. It was an energetic sight to behold.

So naturally, having been so impressed with the entire night and now wearing my Metric tshirt like a 15-year-old fanboy, I am streaming 3 Metric songs in the Music Box. If you like what you hear, you will do yourself a great disservice if you do not pick up their CD and try to get to a show before their tour ends. You won’t want your money back, I guarantee it.

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22 September 2003 • Filed under ,

Meeting your heroes is a surreal experience.

Jessica and I traveled to Chicago this past weekend to see Some Girls at the historic Double Door. We arrived at noon, with plenty of time before the show to see the sights of the Windy City before heading down to the concert venue. Unfortunately, I had become sick with a lovely head cold just two days earlier and found that my strength was wavering. Still, I was determined to not let sickness spoil a weekend that I had been looking forward to for (literally) years. After checking into our hotel, we took the train down to the Double Door, just to assure ourselves that we knew where it was and that we wouldn’t be lost when the time came to attend the show. We were both tired from the flight, so we headed around the corner from the Double Door, got some lunch and took time to relax. Once we felt a bit renewed, we headed across the street to check out a vintage clothing shop. The architecture in Chicago is really cool. There is a very historic feeling to many areas that we visited. It reminded me a lot of Europe in the way that old and new structures merged together.

Back on the train, we headed downtown to find our way to Navy Pier. We didn’t know much about it except that it was a unique feature of Chicago and that we seemed to remember that Juliana Hatfield had played a show there once. When we got to the Pier, It became evident that we had entered a major tourist area. Nevertheless, we had spent enough time trying to get down there that we decided to take a look around anyway. We took our time as we made our way to the end of the pier, which was a lot farther away than we thought. It’s a huge pier. Along the way, we took a ride on the ferris wheel and took pictures of Lake Michigan — which looked more like an ocean.

From the pier, we headed back to the vicinity of the Double Door. We had planned on going to the Sears Tower, but a combination of fatigue and unco-operative public transit routes made us decide to skip that part of the plan and find a warm place to sit, eat and wait for the show. Across from the Double Door is a nice little restaurant named Penny’s, and that’s where we went to have a bowl of soup and rest our legs. Jessica and I most definitely did not want to be tired and groggy for the concert we had come so far to see.

About 45 minutes before the doors were to open for the show, we headed across the street to wait in line. We had nowhere else to go, really, and there wasn’t enough time to go see anything else of interest. At first, we wondered if we were in the right place because there was no one there. We could hear a band doing a soundcheck inside, but no one was waiting to get in. Then the door opened and Heidi Gluck walked out. Jessica and I just looked at each other with big dorky grins on our faces. It was pretty cool. With the door partially open, we could see that we were definitely behind the stage and that there was a sign telling patrons to go to the other entrance. So we walked around the corner and found ourselves, again, the only ones in line. We waited for about five minutes before another woman came to stand in line. She was really nice. Her friend came later, and they told us that if we’d come so far to see the show that we should wait a while after the show because Juliana almost always comes back out to talk to people.

When we got into the venue we quickly staked out a table close to the stage so that we could sit down for the opening acts and be close enough to get to the front row when Some Girls came on. The first band was a local Chicago group called Air This Side Of Caution. The lead singer was definitely channeling Jeff Buckley; a woman standing in line with us earlier had told us about this band and how much she loved them for that Buckley-esque vibe. They were actually an excellent band. Not entirely my style, but undeniably talented. The second band was the opening act advertised on the Double Door website: The Unbusted. If nothing else, they were entertaining. There was a seemingly endless flow of self-deprecating remarks, false song endings, and insane stage banter. At one point during the set, the nice woman we had talked to in line earlier turned to me, poked me and said, “Juliana is standing right behind you.” We turned around, and — sure enough — there she was, with a big smile on her face as she watched The Unbusted. Talk about cool. Man, that was cool.

As soon as The Unbusted left the stage, Jessica and I got our stuff together and moved up front, as did a lot of other people. The anticipation was killing us. I guess you just have to understand how important this music is to us. I have been a die-hard Juliana fan for over ten years, and have never had the opportunity to watch her perform. Jessie and I just fully admire her amazing range of skill and talent and had been planning this moment for over a year. Needless to say, Juliana Hatfield has been our hero.

Heidi was the first to come out and set up her gear. First a bass check, then a check of her harmonica harness, and then a look-see at the slide guitar. Freda came out a few minutes later to set up her drum kit. Jessica and I both commented later on how young the Girls look in person, as opposed to photos. Heidi and Freda set up pretty quickly, and then there was a lull in activity while the tech did the soundcheck. We noticed that none of Juliana’s guitars were onstage. Her mic and amp and pedals were there, but no guitars. So it was somewhat endearing to see Juliana part the rear curtain and hoist her guitars onto the stage — all by herself. She climbed up onto the stage and just kind of scooted her guitars around a bit on their stands until she felt like they were in the right places. She is so small and thin; photographs just don’t seem to capture how petite she really is. A kick or two to the plywood board with her pedals on it. A thorough check of her amp settings and mic positions. She dumped a handful of handwritten notes onstage, near her pedals, a safe distance away from anyone’s reach. I had heard from the band’s message board that these were “cheat sheets” for one or two news songs that she didn’t want to mess up. While she was still tinkering with various items, Freda and Heidi came onstage and were greeted by a warm applause. Everyone got their instruments ready and Juliana thanked everyone for coming to the show — making it a point clarify that this was a band and that they had recorded an album and would be playing mostly those songs along with a few new ones. This night would no doubt be like countless others, with someone who hadn’t paid attention calling out for her to play one of her own songs. It was nice that she at least tried to diffuse the false idea that this was a “Juliana show” with a backup band; no, this was a group. Emphasis.

After the intro, the Girls politely asked for setlists which had apparently not made it onstage yet. The tech dashed up and laid them down on the floor. I can tell you what the first song was. It was a cover of the Mysteries of Life’s “Native Tongue” — which, I believe, was written by Freda. It was just beautiful. For the life of me, I can’t tell you what order the other songs were played in, because I was pretty blissed out and wasn’t focusing on the details, but the band played all of the songs from the album as well as a cover of the Blake Babies’ “Nothing Ever Happens”, a song called “He’s On Drugs Again” (which rocked hardcore), a song called “When I Let My Guard Down” and another new song titled “That’s The Last Time I Fool Around With You.” The last song was the bluesy “Malted Milk” with Heidi playing a mean and lazy steel guitar. The encore was one song: an utterly goosebump-inducing rendition of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” with a stellar harmonica part played by Heidi and ending with Juliana singing “Only love can break your heart…” over and over again — acapella — in total silence. Man, it just gave me this tingly feeling.

After the show, Jessica and I waited around, as we had been advised, to see if we could meet the Girls. Heidi was the first person we got to talk to. She was genuinely nice and signed our CD cover and chatted a minute with us. We kept waiting, and I sort of figured that we’d never see Juliana but then there she was, tossing a tackle box onstage. She seemed a bit upset for some reason, so we were kind of hesitant to call out her name (we later learned that there were some very rude guys outside who had been making her angry). Besides, it’s just weird to be that close to someone you’ve admired over the years, but never actually seen. But Jessica was the brave one to call over to her. She came over to the edge of the stage, and Jessica told her about how we had come a long way to see the show and asked if we could have her sign our CD and take a quick picture with her. She asked if we could hang on because the crew was “on her ass” to get everything loaded onto the truck.

So we waited while she got her guitars stowed and her tackle box filled with her pedals. She disappeared backstage for a while, but then she made her way back over, just as she said she would, and apologized for making us wait. She said she felt sleep-deprived and tired, but sort of lit up a little when we told her we’d come from Texas to see the show. She said she didn’t think she was worthy, but Jessica assured her that she was. So she signed our CD and we got our picture (which I hope comes out good). But even without the picture, I still have my memories. It was just great. As we made our way to the door, we saw Freda at the merchandise table and got her autograph just as the bouncers were getting ready to use force to remove stragglers from the room.

I’m pretty sure that I speak for Jessica when I say that we’ve both been in a weird, semi-dream state since that night. It’s surreal to meet your heroes. Somehow it doesn’t seem poosible that we flew across the United States, saw our favorite musician perform and then got to talk to her. Now we’re home again — so quickly — and it all seems too impossible to be true. But it is. And we’re so glad we did it. We finally met the most influential person in our musical lives, and that’s worth more than anything.

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© Jared Christensen

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