Have any of you seen the movie Almost Famous? Last night inspired me in a way I didn’t expect it to! Rolling Stone…here I come!
“Go to a live music performance BY YOURSELF. Dance unabashedly. Feel free and confident.” from Tara Noland.
Tara is one of the many fabulous women I have met through my time in the Junior League of Cincinnati. She is actually one of the very first ladies I met in JLC and we became fast friends! After hearing an absolutely hilarious account of how her boyfriend’s mother bought her a tote bag with her “would be” monogram embroidered on it in case she married her son one day, I couldn’t not be friends with this girl!! Since then, she has recruited me to help out with gala planning for 4C for Children, which has been an incredible experience all in itself. And she hit the nail on the head with this challenge for me!!
This challenge is incredible for several reasons.
1. I LOVE music. Love it.
- I played the drums and the piano in my youth, went to music/arts camp several times and can still tickle the ivories if given the opportunity. Haven’t tried the drums in awhile, though I imagine it’d come back to me pretty quickly.
- I am CONSTANTLY listening to music and always looking for new jams. A friend of mine has been sending me new bands and songs to check out lately and it is the highlight of my day every time I get a new one. (Thank you!!) As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am pretty sure that my iTunes library can read my mind because it always plays exactly what I want to hear. (Lately I’ve been running through Phoenix, Tegan & Sara, Passion Pit, Swedish House Mafia, Dragonette, Capital Cities, Bastille, CHVRCHES, Matt & Kim, Metric, Pony Pony Run Run, Ra Ra Riot, Imagine Dragons, Cold War Kids, Night Terrors of 1927, Daft Punk, Atlas Genius and The National. I’m also loving Vampire Weekend’s newest album!)
- I often envision my life being like a movie and wish it had a soundtrack that followed me everywhere I went. Since that is not possible, I kinda create my own. It inspires me, comforts me and completes me.
2. I love being out of my element.
- I have no shame talking to strangers. I can talk to anyone about anything at any time.
- I kind of like being by myself sometimes.
- The whole purpose of this blog is to try new things.
3. I love to dance.
- I’m a terrible dancer.
- I am aware that I am a terrible dancer.
- This makes me dance less.
- Except for last night.
Ok so for the challenge.
I was introduced to a band called Passion Pit about two years ago. I remember I was sitting on a barstool playing photo hunt at The E when Sleepyhead came on the Juke Box. My head started bobbing and I was hooked instantly. The electropop sound was pretty unique to me at the time and now I cannot get enough of it! I hadn’t heard anything like it before. I have been listening to them daily ever since.
I would also add that the stripped down version of Sleepyhead is not to be missed…
Their music is inspiring, thoughtful and very well written. I listen to music for lyrics just as much as I listen for the beat. Take Taylor Swift. Sometimes she has some great beats and then she puts stupid teenage lyrics to it and I just. can’t. handle it. Sorry, T-Swift. You’re off my radar until you grow up. Though you are “feeling 22” these days…whatever that means.
Passion Pit is an indie rock band from Cambridge, MA. I believe they all studied music in Boston. You’ve got Michael Angelakos on lead vocals and keyboard; Ian Hultquist on guitar and keyboard; Xander Singh on synthesizer; Jeff Apruzzese on bass and Nate Donmoyer covering the drums. Their story is interesting in that the band originally formed when Angelakos created a belated Valentine’s gift for his then-girlfriend, which would later become Chunk of Change. He created it entirely by himself on his laptop. I believe he was approached by These guys are adorable, brilliant and incredibly talented!
In an interview with MTV last year, Michael Angelakos said:
“When I get on stage and I see everyone reacting to the music, there’s a moment where I completely forget (that he does not love live shows and touring) and I get excited and can’t believe people care. Hopefully people will see that and people will enjoy it. I can’t ask for anything else.”
To respond, that feeling is written all over your face and that message is definitely received. Your energy is contagious. And your vertical is pretty impressive, btw.
My favorite songs:
Sleepyhead (linked above)
Cry Like a Ghost
It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy
Carried Away (Absolutely love this one! Incredibly cheery beat with lyrics that sting. It’s actually about the characteristics he cannot stand in the person. Unexpectedly perfect!)
Ok. So I selected Passion Pit because I went to see them at the Madison Theater in Covington back in November and it was literally one of the best shows I have ever been to. I have been dying to see them again since. They were scheduled to be at US Bank Arena but for some reason rescheduled and booked the Madison Theater again. I, personally, am glad they did that. It’s a much more intimate setting allowing you to really get close to the band. So I purchased my tickets and planned to attend alone.
Over the past few weeks countless people had asked if I wanted to attend the show with them and I informed them that I would be there, but unfortunately would not be able to hang out with them. Kind of a bummer because a lot of the people that went are SUPER fun!
I rode down with my friends Ashley and Briana. Hope that part is okay. I didn’t wanna be late and a cab would have taken forever. Also, I was incredibly nervous and needed someone to talk me down!
The Madison Theater is a smaller venue. When you walk in, all they do is take your piece of paper. You don’t even get it scanned or anything. I could have probably snuck in if I wanted, but that would be dishonest.
We parted ways after hitting up the bar for a little liquid courage. I headed down toward the stage and parked myself pretty close to the front of the second landing. Unbeknownst to me, this was right next to a door that led backstage. I had printed up little notes that explained what I was doing and my blog and yada yada and if given the opportunity, was going to give them to the band so they’d read it and I could possibly meet them. That woulda been a nice little addition to this post.
Talk about being oblivious. They walked behind me like 12 times, but I was so into Cults, the opening act, that I TOTALLY missed each opportunity. Finally, I crumpled one up into a ball and tossed through the doorway as it was closing. I have no idea if anyone saw it. The bouncer covering the door was very kind and tried to let me know when they were coming. Thanks for the effort, Pat!!
Cults, the opening act, used this really awesome lighting effect that doesn’t photograph very well, but looked INSANE in person! I dig their vibe and will definitely be checking out some more of their music!
After the failed attempts to get in touch with the band pre-show, I popped up to the lobby one more time before making my way into the pit. I ran into a few more friends, said my hellos and then disappeared into my lone-concert viewing evening.
The best part about going to a concert alone is that I’m the only person I have to worry about! I didn’t have to create a train of hand-holding to get everyone through the crowd. I didn’t have to say excuse me and guide 9 of my closest pals through with me. All I had to do was push my way to the front. And that is exactly what I did.
I made a few friends along the way, most of which were significantly younger than myself, but nonetheless super fun to be around and very excited about my blog. This gave me a great ice breaker to work with and while not all parties (namely this girl below who was a real B) were openly receptive to my situation, most of the people I spoke with were pretty great!
This girl was there with her younger sisters. Very sweet girl! She let me sneak up close so that I could get some shots of the band. I ran into her post show out in the parking lot waiting to meet the band, as well.
Akayla, one of the other girls I met, was VERY excited about the show and what I was doing for my blog. They’ve sent me a bunch of pictures from the concert, too. She got the guitar pic that Ian through into the crowd at the end of the night.
So here’s what I learned overall.
Passion Pit has a pretty young following. Look at all the X’s on those hands!!
Dancing with reckless abandon is WAY more fun than being concerned about what I look like.
Be nice to the bouncers. They can help you out!!
Chris passed my note on to the sound guy and to the band. Hopefully they’re reading this post 🙂
This is the setlist:
Lucky me! I got to hear all my faves!! Though at this point, I don’t know that I have heard a Passion Pit song that I don’t like…
Here are some more shots of the show:
I think I chose the perfect venue and performance for this challenge. I was able to let loose, really listen to and enjoy the music and jump around with a bunch of 15 year olds for a few hours. I mean, what the hell, YOLO, right?
I went to see The Lumineers the night before at Riverbend and had an equally fabulous time. Lucky me! Two of my fave bands, back to back! I need a super long nap…
Tara, I had the time of my life. I felt like I was in Almost Famous, minus the whole weird groupie relationship thing. I imagine that I would REALLY enjoy writing for someone like Rolling Stone. Part of the reason I’m doing this whole thing is to figure out my purpose. It’d be kinda cool if that’s what it ended up being!
Overall, the performance was amazing! The energy was up, the lighting was stellar (per usual) and the music was flawless! I was a sweaty, trainwreck of a mess, but I’m not sure I’ve danced that much at a show in my life. I did my absolute best to get their attention to let them know about my blog. I tweeted all of them shamelessly throughout the week, stood outside their bus like a little groupie (did get to talk to Michael for a hot minute) and threw my flyers on stage, handed them to any staff member I could and gave one to one of the roadies. Fingers crossed it was not all for nothing!
Thank you, Passion Pit and Cults, for such a wonderful evening and thank you, Tara, for making me do it! Next time I wanna see a band that none of my other friends have heard of, I won’t be so quick to skip it. This was my first concert I attended solo, but it definitely won’t be my last…
My concert agenda for the rest of the summer includes:
MidPoint Music Fest
part of Bunbury
Earth, Wind and Fire
and possibly Life is Beautiful Festival in October!
I. Am. So. Psyched!!!!