Augustines @EstatOff Modena – 21/07/2015
[IMPORTANT: I never wrote an entire post in English. I’m sure it’s awful, but I wanted to try. I never wrote something like that about a music band either, because I’m not that expansive as a fan, usually. But things change, aren’t they?
So please be patient, and do help me with some editing, if you feel like it]
Wednesday morning, heading back to Milan, staring outside from my window seat, headphones in (no need to ask what I’m listening, right?), some random thoughts.
That was the tiniest concert venue I’ve been in. And I’m selfish, I know, but I was SO glad that only few people were there, and that the front row was waiting for me, even if I arrived late (damn late trains).
[Speaking of transports: I called a cab to reach the Off. The driver asked me if I was going to the gig, and then: “I picked those guys yesterday at their arrival. Very nice and funny.” I always loved the little insignificant coincidences of life.]
I sipped my beer watching the tiny stage, in anticipation. They’re going to be right in front of me, close enough to reach them with my voice. In fact I did it, I offered to Eric my italian translation of It’s fucking hot ;)
It was fucking hot indeed.
Billy McCarthy is pure energy that streams directly from his heart through his arms, to the guitar. His legs can’t stand still. And this voice, so loud and raw… you can’t believe that a man can scream so hard and still sing with such intensity and precision. And oh, he has the whitest teeths! Or maybe were the lights, I don’t know, but I could not help focusing on that at some moments.
Eric Sanderson, his smile is a whole-face-smile, so sweet…and contagious. And I’ve had plenty last night. Watching him play and sing and jump (and, oh god, he jumps!) with such passion, no matter what he’s playing – bass, keyboards, guitar – is contagious too. And… yes, he is as handsome as I imagined. Last time in London I was too far to check. Now I can say it :)
Rob Allen is as loud and energetic with his drums as he seems quiet and shy. He is the kind of person that, once they started playing acoustic in the middle of the lawn, with all the people sitting around, cared to not turn his back to us, or cover our view. It makes you want to hug him.
They gave us good fucking rock, they gave us funny and intense stories, they gave us the intimacy of a concert among friends on a summer night.
This is the kind of gig – and I’m not simply speaking about the venue – in which you can really sing along, distinctly hear your voice blend with the others. In which you can hear the noise of the pick strumming on the chords and the pounding of the feet on the stage, and feel a real sort of connection, lift your eyes and find that the drummer is smiling at you while singing. A gig in which the band members let themselves literally be embraced by the crowd.
And this is the sort of night in which at the end the band members (oh, Eric, but where were you?) join the few people still hanging around for a beer, a chat and some pictures (I had mine, of course, but it’s for me and me alone).
I regret not having told Billy that their songs speak to me in a way I rarely experienced before, that I cry everytime I listen to Walkabout, and hearing it that night, so intense and so close to me, was almost overwhelming. But full of joy. And that I’m eager to see Rise, and maybe find myself into the crowd of the Roundhouse, in what was maybe the first place in my best-concerts-ever…until yesterday night.