The Power of Music, Part II
I don't think I've ever been to two concerts within the span of not even a week.
began with a half-hour set by Jared Hart, who was later on also part of Brian's
band. Jared has a voice that could probably cut through walls (is that a
saying? If not it should be), and I bet that without a microphone we
still would've been able to hear him, even in the last row. It seemed like he put
every ounce (or gram, if you're European like myself) of emotion he ever felt into his songs, and for most of the gig he
looked as if he kind of zoned out, like he was the only person in the room.
It kind of feels like I had a week off of everything, and it feels surreal to think about how much has happened the last seven days.
Anyway, after an incredible Frank Turner gig at the Lucerna Music Hall in Prague last Thursday, I went to see Brian Fallon play at the Live Music Hall (see the theme?) in Cologne yesterday. And although I'm constantly comparing these two nights in my head, I wouldn't be able to say which one was better. They were completely different, but both were amazing in their own way.
While Frank's show was all about the dancing and singing along (crappily), Brian's gig had more of a relaxed feeling to it. I gotta say that yesterday's crowd was the quietest I've ever seen, and I can't exclude myself from that, but somehow we all seemed to still feel the Monday blues. Even when Brian asked if we were okay, the crowd answered with what I'd call the opposite of a rousing cheer. It wasn't because it was a bad show, it just felt like we all had a pretty rough day and could do with just listening to the music instead of throwing a big party. And, in a way, the overall quieter atmosphere was exactly what I (unknowingly) needed.
|Jared Hart, Live Music Hall, Cologne 2016|
Jared Hart was followed by the two gents of Good Old War, who played another 30 minutes. These two guys had the best harmonies, and I've rarely heard two voices that fit together so perfectly. Listening to their songs made me think of the beach, sunshine and California, which is always a good thing. The overall lighthearted mood and uplifting melodies made those 30 mins go by in the blink of an eye, but my desire to go on holiday still remains. Thanks guys.
During the half-hour the stage was set up for Brian and the Crowes I nearly fell asleep, thanks to the dimmed lights and the high temperature in the room. Yet again I felt like I wasn't the only one feeling a little tired that night, because when Alex came on stage to set up his guitar and keyboard he looked like he had just woken up.
When Brian and the Crowes came on, everyone seemed to wake up a little, and him starting off with "Nobody Wins" seemed like a perfect choice for the evening, something a little slower to help us all to get in the mood for the show. With "Rosemary" as the second song it got a little more intense, but "Among Other Foolish Things" turned things around again quickly and everyone around me sang or hummed along. On that note, "And everybody's hurt and mine ain't the worst, but it's mine and I'm feeling it now," is one of my favorite lines of his new record "Painkillers."
Those first couple of songs were followed by some songs from "Elsie," the record Brian Fallon and Ian Perkins made in 2011 under the band name "The Horrible Crowes." If you haven't bought that record already, please do yourself a favor and change that immediately. You can thank me later.
Generally speaking I'd say that the set list was a great mix out of "Painkillers" and "Elsie." Before things could get too heavy (especially with the songs from "Elsie") Brian started playing a slower song, or "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry. Yes, you read that right. And it's better than you might think.
Like Brian said, coming to one of his shows means a lot of talking and no encore. So whenever he wasn't playing a song, Brian was telling various stories about whatever seemed to have come in to his mind. Here's an (incomplete) list of more or less interesting things we learned that night:
- Having a girlfriend is expensive.
- Brian has no chest hair, just like a hamster?!
- The girl in the audience has not naturally red hair, it's dyed.
- British underwear isn't as comfortable as American underwear.
- Brian needs to cut his nails.
- The man in the audience grew his beard in 5 months (which is quick).
- Brian hurt his elbow (because he's old) and is now playing his guitar up high, not rocker low.
- Italy is hot, but not too hot.
- Brian cried when visiting the dentist, who was also the prettiest girl he has ever seen.
- Frank snores the loudest.
- Brian never farts, ever.
- Brian gets hilarious after seven beers.
Overall it was a very lovely, rather relaxed and seriously funny evening with lots of good music and lots of silly banter. So if you have the chance to see Brian Fallon and the Crowes play at a town near you, do yourself a favor and go see them, you won't be disappointed.
Here's "Go Tell Everybody" from last night:
On another, yet related note: me and a friend tried to see Brian's instore gig at Underdog Records in Cologne (and didn't make it in, but that's not the point here). Two minutes after we arrived, a girl asked us if this was the line for Brian's show, and we kept on talking for the entire time we waited.
We got along so well that we even spent the hours between the instore gig and the actual concert walking around Cologne together. And while we waited for the actual concert to begin, we were joined by a couple of friends who asked us for how long we've known each other, because it seemed like we knew each other for a long time.
It's another great example of how powerful music can be, and therefore I once again want to thank everyone who is involved in putting a show together for giving us the opportunity to be a little more open to people we otherwise might never talk to.
If you want to read more on why I think that music can save the world, here's part one.
"I don't want to survive, I want a wonderful life." - Brian Fallon