Friday night was fun. Perhaps it didn’t live up to every expectation I had for the evening, but my philosophy for the night was I would not complain about anything that involved a free concert by my favorite band within almost throwing distance of my house. There was a quibble here and there, but overall it was a very good evening.
We were going with our friends K and T. K went to the Frightened Rabbit show with me last April, and he and his wife T went to the Revivalist show with us a couple weeks back. Because of work schedules, T and I got to the restaurant hosting the show right after 5:00, when doors opened. There was a long line to get in, so I knew that our chances of grabbing one of the few tables that would allow a direct view of the stage were shot. We checked in, confirmed all the best tables were taken, and wandered toward the back of the place. There were several long tables in the game room that were completely empty. They were to the side and slightly behind the “stage,” but offered a direct line-of-sight. We quickly claimed the four seats closest to the stage.
That’s when I noticed most of the band were playing shuffleboard right behind us. I nudged T and said, “That’s the band right there.” She’s a bit of a firecracker and started working me right away. “Are you freaking out? Just a little bit? OK, which one is the lead singer? You’re going to go say hello, right?”
So two things about me my oldest friends probably know: I’ve never been comfortable interacting with famous people, and if I have to speak in public in any way, I will quietly, stressfully, think through 1000 variations of what I can say. Knowing there was going to be a raffle after the show for a meet-and-greet with the band, yes, I did devote a ton of time Friday thinking of exactly what to say if I was lucky enough to get picked. But here I was, sitting less than five feet away from the band with a chance to have a private moment. That reluctance to bother a celebrity kicked in, though, and I waited for someone else to make the first move. It didn’t take long. A couple people sidled over to the lead singer, Scott Hutchison, said hello, and asked to take a picture. He seemed cool with it so when the band was on the opposite end of the shuffleboard table, I told T, “OK, next time they come down, I’m going over. Can you take a picture?” Of course she could, she said. Just then K arrived. As the band moseyed their way toward us, I handed him my phone, explained my plan, took a deep breath, and walked over.
“Excuse me, Scott?” Hutchison turned with eyebrows raised. “Hi, can I bother you for a minute to take a picture?” I have no idea what his response was, but I think it was affirmative. I offered my hand and said, “It’s really nice to meet you.” He shook it and said something back, I think along the lines of “it’s nice to meet you, too.” I had not shared my name. Did that make it awkward? It’s not like he’s going to remember me, right?
Anyway, K snapped a few pics and I turned and shook Scott’s hand again. “Thanks very much, I really appreciate it!” He pumped my hand and thanked me for coming to the show. I bounced back to my seat while trying not to trip on anything or otherwise make an ass of myself.
This is a fine moment to remind you all I’m 45 years old. I felt about 14 for the 15–20 seconds that our encounter lasted. Good times, though! S rolled in a few minutes later and I happily showed her my pics.
As for the show, it was solid. Our seats were not great for sound. All the speakers were pointed away from us, so we got a rather muddled mix of the vocals and instruments, except for the drums. We were just to the left of the drum kit and they often overpowered the rest of the sound. I tried to squeeze around to get closer to the stage but there just wasn’t much room. I could get where I could hear better, but not see a thing. We had ordered food anyway, so I went back to my seat to eat.
The band generally sticks to a fixed set list. They ran through the first five songs on their usual list, then began paring it down. They ended up playing a single set of about 45 minutes, 10 songs where they normally play 15–17. It was an all-ages show, probably explaining why a few of their songs that have more obvious curse words in them got cut.
It was a quick, tidy show. Again, it was free and in my zip code. No complaints. K, T, and S all passed me their raffle tickets for the meet-and-greet, but sadly none of our numbers got picked. I thought it might have been awkward to get picked anyway. “Hey, I bothered you before the show. I’m back!” We finished up our dinner and drinks and were out of the place by 7:30. Not the most terrible Friday night I’ve ever had. Hopefully two shows in Indy in five months isn’t too much to keep the band from coming back when they tour their next album. If they come through town again, I’ll be there again.
- More of an alcove than a stage. ↩
- To see the pic, check my Facebook feed. ↩
- It felt very, very weird to be eating while watching my favorite band play. ↩
- K and I were wagering on whether “Keep Yourself Warm” would make the list, with it’s line of “It takes more than fucking someone, to keep yourself warm.” It was not played. ↩