April 2, 2007

MAE - April 1, 2007

Last night was awesome! The five of us left Ames at 2PM and drove straight to Iowa City. It took me about two hours each way, so it wasn't that bad. No worse than driving 4 hours home, alone. Everyone split up for dinner and then met at the venue, the University of Iowa's Memorial Union. I thought it was an odd venue, but I guess they didn't expect a huge crowd. And they were right. The turn out was weak at best. I think there were maybe 300 people there. We didn't even try to get closer to the front, because there was much more room to move around 30 feet back from the stage.

The opening three bands were all good, and interesting in their own ways. New Atlantic was a great opener. They were very open to talking to the audience, and they played well. I think their mix was off though (Adam thought it was their bassist's amp).

After that came Sherwood. They were awesome. They kind of reminded me of a mix between Fall Out Boy and Motion City Soundtrack, but I'll have to get an album of their's to really know. If you ever get a chance to see them, watch their piano player. He is one strange dude - doing pirouettes, throwing tambourines, and doing some dance that really just looks like a vertical seizure. He did do one interesting thing when he jumped on the drum platform, and muted a cymbal while holding out the tambourine for the drummer to play. The rest of Sherwood was normal, and really good.

The last opening band was The Hush Sound. I thought they were good, but the venue was all wrong for them. They are kind of a Indy-pop band, and all of the other bands were loud Alternative type bands. They would do very well in a smaller, more personal venue. Otherwise, they were very good also.

The headliner, and the reason for the trip, was Mae. They tore it up! If you are familiar with Mae's music, you know they play fairly complicated music. Now imagine that sound, only a little less clean (like all live shows) but with ten times the energy. I am still amazed at the musical abilities of this band. I've always liked the Mae drummer, but seeing him in person was something else. He was going nuts, AND playing complicated rhythms. Even the lead singer was playing riffs while singing.

They played all my favorite songs, plus at least 2 from their new record, which drops this summer. The last song they played (before the encore) was Someone Else's Arms, which is quiet possibly my favorite song. Everyone around me was rocking out and belting the lyrics. I almost wish they ended it there, it was that good.

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