Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Suns

I had been standing on the hard concrete floor for three hours waiting for the band. I had enjoyed the three previous acts, but there was no doubt in my mind why I was attending the show tonight. I wanted to see The Suns.

Earlier I was standing around the merchandise table and talked with the drummer about the band. “I’ve introduced you to a small group of people, mostly in South Korea. I really appreciate you having all your music online for free.”

“Only way to do it. I’m just like 'give it away, people will listen.'”

“My bartender in Korea loves you guys.”

We smile. I buy a T-shirt, let him go, and go back to my pacing and waiting for the band. During the Bailiff set I pushed to the front so I could be near the stage. When the set ended the stage was cleared. The bar was thinning, I began to realize that most of the crowd was there for Bailiff, but the main act for me was coming up. Two drums, three guitarists, magical. The tall red-haired guitarist sets up the boards, wires dangling over the stage, kicking over spent bottles of water while he works. I wait, feeling that tense anticipation of finally, finally, getting to see a band I had been listening to for three months live. I was in love with the music.

I recognize the drummer as he gets on stage, I smile as the rest of band takes the stage, the red-haired guitarist standing over me. The lead singer comes on stage. He is not what I expected; he looks small and stocky surrounded by his five-piece band.

“I’m really, I’m really going to piss off some photographers here, but can you turn the house lights down?”

The venue complies.

“No, like all the way down.” A moment later we are in total darkness. He has them bring the lights up a touch, but there is no illumination in the room. We are in darkness. We are a throng. We push closer to the stage, trying to get closer to see in the dim lights of peripherals flashing on the board, the flash of ambient light on the guitar. It is total darkness.

And he begins to play. The guitars build on each other; the drums build on each other. Walls are constructed. These beautiful walls of sound, they enclose us in the darkness. Here we are surrounded by the music and we become the strangers that clap our hands. I watch pouring out my adulation on the stage. My mind and body are lost in such powerfully built moments of sound.

“Don’t know what you’ve done, you brought this upon yourself. You don’t know what you’ve done or who I am….”

We sway as we listen. The couple next to me agrees during a pause that we can only taste the vocals and we call up to our touring god of voice and ask him for more. He laughs and chides the back for more vocals, telling us if we really want to hear to move back. But we can’t. We are moths drawn to his words and voice and presence and we want to be right there as he sings, as his band members join him in harmonies and chorus.

It was passing and lovely and all to short. The last set of the night, and barely six touring majestic beautiful pieces.

And at the end I was left desperately wanting to see them again, with the hope of knowing they have a new album coming out soon.

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