Monday, October 25, 2010

Frightened Rabbit in Orlando, 10/24/10.


These eyes and mind and fingers are much too tired for all of this. But they won’t sleep. Confession: this morning, I crawled into bed around 5 this morning. I ended up having more of an extended nap in place of a full night’s sleep. What’s more, it was worth it.


Orlando is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to its music offerings, after all. When a radio station offers you a spot on their guest list to see Frightened Rabbit later in the night, you don’t think much about it: you go. I refreshed myself on The Winter of Mixed Drinks so many times over (“Living in Colour” is as fast a repeatable favorite as “Old Old Fashioned” was before it) and I got to see joy personified on a stage. I saw men from Scotland give it their absolute all, so thrilled and eager to sweat and sway and perform for an unusually filled club for a Sunday evening. I thought about how the performance was wholly honest and how these guys were even better than they were before. They need to succeed. And they deserved the reception they received. What’s more, if people could have seen Scott’s magnificent mustache as well as I had earlier, the applause would have been that much hungrier, mark my words.


The second act came just two blocks over, where These United States played to far fewer (were there 30? 31 with a bartender?), but it was just as well. I could actually make out most of Jesse’s words on his slower songs (the newish “What Lasts” ought to be the breakout hit for these guys) and focus on the smaller details, like Robbie playing the drums with one stick while playing a mean harmonica with his other hand. Their poetry should have reached farther than it did last night and more ears ought to have heard it, yes, but don’t we always feel that way about the best music? I was simply grateful to be one of those in the right place at the right time. They simply have one of the most steady, polished live shows I know of, really. I suppose it does pay to hardly ever stop touring.


The third act? It just helped celebrate the summer we still have here. No songs needed. I was powerless at this point. These United States were there. A lot of others were, too. Helping support it all was the homemade guacamole and the lone s’more I got to eat and a backyard campfire and water fights atop a roof. There was a partial moon inside the palm trees. There was laughter and easy conversation and new faces and fast friends and a feeling that was so irresistibly warm (and not just because of the weather and soft chairs), that it was easy to stick around. I chose to stretch it out instead of going to bed when I might normally have. It was the right thing to do.


Am I too tired to have written about all of this? I certainly thought I was. Some things just need to be shared when the time’s right to do so.



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