Friday, April 01, 2011

To the wild and the light

Last week I had one of the greatest musical experiences in my life. As I have mentioned and written about, one of my top five bands in the world is the Trashcan Sinatras. Though they are little known in this country, they continue to put out brilliant music, and they have a very dedicated cult following. I saw them a couple of times in the past two years, and last week they came back, this time for an all acoustic show--Trashcan Sinatras Unplugged, as it were.

The venue for this performance was an intimate but great place in Evanston called Space. I had ordered my tickets right when they went on sale, so I had a "reserved table," but I was not sure what this meant. But when I arrived at the venue, I was ecstatic to learn that my reserved table was in the front, directly in front of the stage. Perfect.

After a very lovely opening set by a band called Canasta, TCS took the stage, and proceeded to wow us all with their musicianship. One of my friends once told me that the happiest I am is when I'm listening to great music, and listening to these lads from Scotland truly makes me happy.

Clever banter filled the gaps between songs, and the setlist was nearly perfect. The music sounded so clear and pure, and as my friend Brad (who did not really know the band very much) said, you could tell that the musicians wanted to be here, wanted to be playing--they felt their music as much as we did.

The highlight of the show came during the strangely ethereal "Oranges and Apples." Normally the song features a sort of spacey synth sound, but since this was an acoustic tour, the band did not bring their keyboards. Instead, lead singer Frank took out his iPad, loaded up the keyboard app, and played along. Well that was fun enough on its own, but then he handed the iPad to me and told me to join in. So I played keyboards for the Trashcan Sinatras! I did not really know what I was doing, but I let the spirit move me, and it sounded pretty good. The band thanked me and I got a good round of applause from the crowd.

So the show was shockingly good, and we left filled to the brim with joy.

The next day, the band posted a message on Facebook that they were having a special private (free) show at an undisclosed location the next night, and anyone who wanted a ticket should email the band and explain why they should get one. So of course I emailed with my story of how I came to love the band, but I also mentioned that I had played the iPad keyboard and was practically a member of the band. They responded that they "dug" my iPad stylings, and I was in.

So the next night, after receiving an email about the undisclosed location, I went to a private concert with one of my favorite bands ever. It was in the upstairs lounge of Schuba's, and the show was basically the band and 50 fans very intimate, very personal. The guys chatted with their fans for a while, and then played two sets of music--27 songs! (Another highlight was the fact that several people at the show recognized me as the iPad player.)

To be in such close proximity to people who have created some of my favorite music in the world was truly an honor. It's hard to convey my feelings since so few people are familiar with the Trashcan Sinatras, but I felt like I was a part of something very special.


At 11:01 AM, Blogger Kath posited...

that's such a great story! now i must go make sure TCS is on my ipod...i think they are...

At 8:50 AM, Blogger undulatingorb posited...

I saw Canasta open for Black Prairie at Schuba's last year--really good local band. I think you and I should start our own "we play our favorite band's instruments" band!


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