Over the next months, I devoured every bit of The Long Winters music I could get my hands one, and became a full fledged fangirl. If only I had learned about them back when they were touring regularly! Then, the most amazing thing happened. The band's record label, Barsuk Records, announced that they were celebrating their 15 year anniversary. Part of the celebration would include a reunion of The Long Winters, to play their album When I Pretend to Fall. Alas, most of the shows were going to be on the West Coast. Makes sense, since the band calls Seattle home. But then, my luck changed, and a New York show was announced. And I miraculously convinced Hubby to go to the show.
It was a whirlwind trip (more about that in the next post) that resulted in 23 hours actually spent in NYC, 7 of those at the concert venue. The show was part of the CMJ music festival. The venue was the Bowery Ballroom. There were 5 (yes 5) bands performing before The Long Winters. We watched them all: Promised Land Sound, Otka Logue, Kan Wakan, Reuben and the Dark, and Eleanor Friedberger. For us the most notable was Kan Wakan. Within the first 5 seconds of their set, Hubby shouted to me "I am sold!". We both were; the sound was sensual and mesmerizing.
We bought the band's EP later in the night.
I also was converted as a fan for Reuben and the Dark.
Not only are these guys easy on the eyes, their rich warm harmonies are easy on the soul.
But of course, the draw for us was The Long Winters. And it was every bit as amazing as I anticipated it would be. The crowd was a mix of old fans back from early touring days and newer fans like us. But we all knew that this show would be nothing short of greatness. John Roderick and Sean Nelson have a playful chemistry on stage, and it just quickly became apparent that they were loving every minute of what they were doing. John Roderick is one of the few performers who not only sounds better with age, but sounds better live than on studio recordings. His voice is so sumptuous (almost as much so as his beard), it feels like a warm blanket wrapped around you. Although I love the whole When I Pretend to Fall album, my least favorite song is one titled Blanket Hog. Yet John made it sound so beautiful that night, I can no longer do anything but love the song.
So, the moral of the story is always check out the openers. You just might find your new favorite.
You can see all my photos from the opening bands here, and all the photos from The Long Winters set here. Some of them a a bit blurry but they still capture the energy and emotion of the night, plus it is hard for me to delete any photo of them no matter how blurry. Imagine what I could have accomplished with a professional grade camera!