This night was magical, and I shall tell you why.
Petal opened and was absolutely lovely. Ben from Tigers Jaw was playing with her which surprised me (pleasantly). Her songs are introspective and delicate and her voice is beautiful. A highlight of Petal’s set was a very very pretty rendition of “Home” by Talking Heads. She also addressed the election and how each band on the tour cares deeply about their shows being safe places where everyone can feel better not shittier. “Don’t let the bad man from New York” ruin this, she told us. Since the election I’ve struggled to be around people or in spaces that don’t acknowledge the huge shift in our realities that occurred a month ago. It was nice that each band did mention that they see part of their jobs as musicians to bring love into the world during a painful time.
I’ve seen Kevin Devine twice before, and he’s always excellent. Kevin is a super multi-faceted musician with beautiful, poetic lyrics. He pulls off Leonard Cohen/Jackson Frank singer-songwriter so well but also puts on a very energetic and fun rock show when he’s playing with his band. Kevin pleased the crowd with a mix of solo stuff including a beautiful song about his family and growing up and also energetic Goddamn Band songs. The crowd was super into it and sang along enthusiastically. He also sang a stunning and heartbreaking cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel.”
I saved Pinegrove for last because we save best for last. Even though they played second they were the best and it was pretty clear that most of the people at the show were there for Pinegrove (or at least that their fans were louder). Evan was so taken aback by the love they got that he told us more than once he was struggling to sing against his smile. Each song was beautiful and played with such energy, care and love. Every member of the band was smiling brightly. I hadn’t realized what a fantastic guitarist Evan is, and it was special and dope to watch him play. The crowd was ecstatic. Everyone sang, everyone smiled big and everyone showed love and care for one another. Pinegrove also mentioned the election and asked that those singing their songs about “all kinds of love, platonic love, romantic love, familial love” try and be true to the lyrics and bring more love into the world. Music and love make me so happy. Pinegrove makes me happy.
The whole show made me happy.
And then after the show my friend and I found the most beautiful wooden, wicker chair in a trash pile in the east village. We rescued it and took it on the long journey uptown on the NQR, through times sq station, and all the way up to 116th.
Magical! I know!