We went to see Jesca Hoop, Death Vessel, and Shearwater at The Earl.
The show was a Birthday present for me, and a bit of a surprise. We didn’t have a press pass or anything (for once), so we didn’t try and bring our nice cameras. I got a few shots with a little camera, just because we were so close to the stage (and there was so much awesome going on), but they didn’t turn out too well (as you would expect for a dark room and a crummy camera.)
At any rate, it was a great night (and I’m going to write about it, and brag for a few minutes, because I promised the team that I’d do a blog post today, and this is the coolest things that’s happened to me in weeks.) So we drove out to Glenwood Ave/East Atlanta Village. We don’t make it out that way often, and I was a little disappointed to discover that Feed Your Head Music had shut down (or moved? If you know anything, lemme know. I liked that place.)
We had dinner at a place called Tomatillos.
Ryan had some Hipster beer (and thank you) and some GMO-Free Vegetarian Tacos. We trekked it across the street to the venue, and wandered through the bar and back to the stage. (If The Early wasn’t a 21+ venue, it’d be perfect.) The stage is tiny. There wasn’t much of a crowd when we got there, but it picked up before the music started. (Then again, a sold out show would probably be less than 300 people.) This was a show at 9:00 on a Wednesday night in a 21+ venue. As you might imagine, this meant that it was mostly an older crowd. (I’d be willing to bet that Ryan was the youngest person there.) At 9:15, Jesca Hoop wandered out on to the stage. [This was my first time seeing her in concert, I gave my ticket to the last show up to our resident Spock/Kait.] We were dead center, and about two feet from the stage. The audience was respectfully quiet during her songs, which was a refreshing change from the screaming/singing/talking that normally overwhelms live performances.
Jesca played 8 songs, and was marvelous. (Even when she stopped, in the middle of Hunting My Dress to ask “Have I sung that verse already?” She had not.) She told some silly, sad, touching stories, and then departed the stage.
Afterwards, we talked to a group of long time fans (I wish we had gotten your names. Sign up for the mailing list!) about Jesca’s upcoming Five Songs Live EP (which I’ve been listening to, frequently.)
I wandered back to the merch booths to get a copy of Jesca’s record store day single (Because she had them at the show, how flipping sweet is that? I thought I’d missed it entirely!) only to discover that she was working her own merch booth. After I swooned for a moment, Ryan produced several copies of Analog Revolution Magazine Issue 1 (still on sale!) and gave one to Jesca for being kind enough to grant us the interview that became our first cover story.
Then, of course, he got her to sign a copy for us to hang up in the store (whenever that opens.) The next band up, Death Vessel, was enjoyable. I, sadly, didn’t pay them the attention they deserved because I spent the first quarter of their set talking to Jesca Hoop and the next quarter of their set reeling from having talked with Jesca Hoop (okay, I fangirled a little bit. I’m sorry.) The last half of their set, however, was quite good. Good enough that I’ll be hunting down some of their music in the coming days.
And then there was Shearwater. They took the stage at 11:20, and my legs were already on the point of giving out.
I’d never listened to Shearwater before. This was a mistake. They were astounding. Musically complex, textured, and intricate, and delicate, and all manner of other words to describe music that is well thought out. The front man had a kind of Bradford Cox-y vibe going on, but I can’t tell if that was musically, or just his haircut. The soundscapes that they built on stage were like nothing I’d heard before.
Oh yeah, and Jesca played keyboard, bass drum, ocean noises, and sang backup vocals (which was super weird and awesome.)
It was an energetic set, and at this point the house was packed. I forgot that my legs were hurting, and I enjoyed the music (and the stories about North Korea.)
This was, without a doubt, the best show I’ve been to this year (and one of the best to which I’ve ever been.) The small, intimate setting, and the great company, made it a night I won’t soon forget.