More Than Meh

A blog about the good things of life.

BSO Pulse with Lake Street Dive February 25, 2017

Filed under: Concerts,Music,Pop Culture — dwhren @ 3:46 pm

It’s been awhile. I just really haven’t felt like writing much. My mental energy is sapped by everything happening in this country right now, and even the things that do make me happy are colored by my feelings of anger, sadness, and helplessness. I wasn’t sure when or if I would start writing here again, but of course it would be something music related that got me back here.

This past Thursday night I went to the latest BSO Pulse concert featuring Lake Street Dive. Of the four concerts in the series this year, this was the one I really wanted to go to so when a couple of my friends asked if I was interested in going I of course said yes. They were slackers and didn’t buy their tickets when we talked about it, and then it sold out so I thought I was going to be going alone. But things worked out. Following the BSO on Twitter paid off because they tweeted the morning of the concert that they had released some tickets for show. I immediately let my friends know when I saw it, and they managed to snag some of the tickets. I would have gone to the show alone, but it was nice to have some friends with me to enjoy it with.

If you recall from my previous posts on the BSO Pulse series it’s a grant funded collaboration between WTMD and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to pair indie rock bands with the BSO in concert to introduce a younger audience to the symphony.

The concert is split into three parts. In the first part the BSO plays an orchestral piece. This time it was The Rise of Exotic Computing by Mason Bates and Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Kalendar Prince from Scheherazade. In second part whoever the band is plays about an hour long set of their music, and in the third part they finish off with the band playing three of their songs with the BSO playing an orchestral arrangement to accompany them.

I just love this series. I love how it brings people who would probably never show up to the symphony and introduces it to them in a way that might get them to come back. I also like seeing the older people who are obviously regular symphony subscribers in the audience as well.

Lake Street Dive was a lot of fun in their set, and the collaboration between them and BSO was wonderful. They finished off the night playing “Call Of Your Dogs”, which is probably my favorite song by them, “Side Pony”, and a cover of Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl”. I was amused by their comment that they never imagined playing with a symphony and if they did they could never in their wildest dreams believe they would be playing “Side Pony”, which is literally about wearing a side pony tale. The cover of “Rich Girl” was practically grown in a lab to please me. I love Hall & Oates to death, and even though I didn’t realize it before, Lake Street Dive is the perfect band to cover their music. The addition of the BSO to it made it that much better. Everyone in the audience was up singing and dancing along. Even though I know Lake Street Dive has an EP of cover songs that includes “Rich Girl”, which may be how some of the people know the song, I’m choosing to believe in my heart of hearts that even the young twentysomethings also have a deep abiding love of Hall & Oates somehow.

It was an excellent night of music, and I hope there are many more of these to come even after the grant funding ends.

 

Self-Reflection in the Time of Trump January 23, 2017

Filed under: Life — dwhren @ 10:48 am

Like many people I have been disheartened since Trump was elected president, but I was overwhelmed with with love, and joy, and hope on Saturday watching women all over the world stand up together to say we won’t keep quiet. We will fight for what we believe in. I was at a conference this weekend and couldn’t make it out to a march, but I was bowled over by the number of women I personally know marching in cities around the country and even in Africa.

The past few months have given me a lot of time to reflect on my life, my beliefs, and what is important to me and what I’m going to do about it. How the Nazis came to power and how so few people did anything to stop their terrible acts is something that has been debated since it happened. As a psychology major I’ve read all those research studies that show how easily people buckle to authority and how easily they stay silent. I long ago, not proudly, acknowledged to myself that had I been living during that time I probably would not have spoken up. I don’t think I would have been a Nazi, but I don’t think I would have fought back either. I have always been someone who doesn’t like to make waves. I go along to get along. So I can definitely imagine myself just trying to navigate through whatever was happening without trying to offend anyone, but in my silence I would have been complicit.

This election rocked my faith to the core. I’ve known for a long time that most quote unquote Evangelical Christians and I don’t see eye to eye on many things, and I often wonder how we are possibly reading out of the same Bible. To see so many Christians not only vote for Trump but declare him a Godly man or God’s anointed to take back their country is just…I really have no words. Despite belonging to a church that teaches nothing but grace, mercy, love, and reconciliation, having a close group of Christian friends who live their faith seeking social justice, and having the wisdom of writers like Rachel Held Evans to remind me I’m not alone, this election still made me stop to ask what am I actually believing in. If the actions of this man are what Christianity is aligning itself with then what kind of God am I putting my faith in?

I won’t say that my heart is 100% healed or that I’ve completely opened it back up to God again, but I can at least hear him calling me in the most likely and unlikely of ways. There have been multiple sermons at my church that I have felt were written just for me in this time. Stuff like that is the likely, but you really don’t expect to have wonderful passages about finding Christian faith and calling the Religious Right he became deeply involved with to task written by a Jewish man inside of his book about creating the tv show “Saved by the Bell”. I also picked up the book “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome” at the perfect time. It reminded me that people are not God. Religion is not God. I put my faith in something higher.

All this is the long wind-up to a question my friends in my Bible study and I were talking about, which is if you created a hashtag for what you wanted to live out in your life and have God work on you in 2017 what would it be? For me I decided it was #courage. The courage to speak up and to speak out on what I believe. I’m guessing there’s more than one person reading this who has no idea that I’m a Christian. That’s the just stay silent and not say anything when people might disagree part of me. Don’t talk about my faith in places that will cause tension. Don’t talk about all my liberal, progressive beliefs around people that might offend. Now is not the time to stay silent. So I’m trying to be courageous. To open up and speak out even when it makes me extremely uncomfortable.

So I will say to start that I am scared. I am scared of what the next 4 years will bring and how easily we might wind up in places we really don’t want to be. To have the first press conference of Trump’s administration be defending easily disproven lies is frightening. I said before the election on Facebook that the only person Trump cares about is himself. He cares about his ego and feeling powerful. If you’ve listened to anything he said during the campaign, his lies about how big the crowds are at the inauguration should not be a surprise. The fact that there are people who will already defend this lie and claim it to be true all the way from his administration to people in my Facebook feed is truly terrifying to me. If we are already at a place on day one where people will say an easily disproven lie is true, then where are we going to be when the lies aren’t so black and white? I will not stay  silent and let these things pass anymore. I’m claiming the courage to stand up and call out the lies and defend the things I believe in.

After thinking about writing this since Saturday, this morning when I actually had time to sit down and do it I almost didn’t. But at the exact moment I was thinking about backing away and not putting this out there someone from NPR Music tweeted out a story to this song “Quiet” by a singer named MILCK written for the Women’s March. I don’t think it was a coincidence. It was God saying hey you remember that promise of courage you made and asked me to help you with? Well guess what here’s your reminder. Get to it.

Acapella version of part of the song being sung by a group of women during the march.

And the full studio version

 

My Most Memorable Pop Culture of 2016 January 2, 2017

Filed under: Books,Concerts,Podcasts,Pop Culture,Songs I Love,Television,Theatre — dwhren @ 10:55 am

Once again it’s time for my post on what was the most memorable pop culture of the year to me. It’s pop culture I consumed in 2016, not necessarily things that were exclusively released in 2016. And once again I point out that this is the stuff that made the greatest impact on me. It’s not a list of the top anything. Even I acknowledge that there are things on this list that I would not put in a top 10 or even top 20 list. They’re not necessarily the best of anything, just the stuff that I enjoyed the most or which had some special meaning to me.

Movie I Saw in a Theatre

I’m pretty sure I saw more movies in the theatre in 2016 than I have in a long time. I’ve seen 4 movies since Thanksgiving alone, which is very unusual for my life these days. I enjoyed most of the movies I saw, but I’m giving this category to La La Land. It was the one movie I saw this year that I almost immediately wanted to see again. It wasn’t a perfect movie. It didn’t quite live up to its promise as a movie musical. It started out with a bunch of musical numbers and then almost completely dropped them until the end. It was a little uneven, but I still loved it. It’s a beautiful to look at, and I really could just watch Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling interact forever. Their relationship seemed so real. At the time I saw it I was a little disappointed that they didn’t end up together even though realistically that’s what should have happened. Usually I would have enjoyed that ending, but wasn’t in the mood for at the time. In retrospect though I can appreciate it, and whatever my feelings about it were they did not detract from my love of the movie as a whole.

Movie I Watched at Home

Last year I said I should probably retire this category because I don’t watch that many movies at home, and I had a hard time thinking of any. I’m still singing that tune this year, but I’m apparently not quite yet ready to let it go because it’s still here. In doing a review I discovered I actually watched a lot more movies at home than I thought, but I literally had to go back and look because I couldn’t remember any of them. Once I did though the obvious choice was Sing Street. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a sweet little film that takes place in 1980’s Dublin about a teenage boy who starts a band to impress a girl. The songs in it were all written for the movie, but definitely evoke the sounds of 80s music. It’s a delightful little film.

 

Fiction Book

Alas my great streak with books I loved last year did not continue into this year. I did manage to meet my reading goal of 100 books for the year, but there were very few I rated above 3 stars on Goodreads. This category like several other ones exemplified how out of sync I was with pop culture this year. Almost every best of book list I saw had Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad as it’s top pick. I did not care for that book. The fiction book I most enjoyed did show up on most lists as well, so I guess I wasn’t completely off. It was Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Essentially its a series of connected short stories, which makes it unusual that I would like it that much since I generally don’t care for short stories. The thread that connects them though is following two lines of a family through two sisters on the Gold Coast of Africa, one who is sold into slavery and the other who becomes a slave traders wife from their lives in the 1600s up through present day. Each story is essentially a new generation. It was a wonderful and heartbreaking book that really demonstrates how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present even hundreds of years later.

Non-Fiction Book

I had much better luck with non-fiction books this year than fiction ones. Most of the books I rated over 3 stars on Goodreads were non-fiction. My favorite non-fiction book of the year was another book that was not very uplifting, but was extremely interesting. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond explores poverty and housing through the lens of the city of Milwaukee. Desmond explores the intricacies of housing and the tenant/landlord relationship especially when dealing with people living in poverty. Many books like this seem to take sides, but Desmond does a really good job in following a couple of landlords and their tenants at showing how complicated the relationship and that there are failings on both sides.

TV Show

With as much good scripted television as there is these days I feel like I’m going a little off book in declaring my favorite tv show of the year as Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. It was the biggest surprise to me because I was never the hugest fan of Samantha Bee when she was a Daily Show correspondent, especially towards the end of Jon Stewart’s run when she really seemed to be going off the rails a little bit. I didn’t even plan on watching Full Frontal because I figured it was just going to be more of the same stuff I wasn’t enjoying on The Daily Show, but my husband insisted that we at least try it out and I’m very glad he did. Full Frontal is really smart, and I appreciate having a woman’s voice in the late night world, especially one who will focus on woman’s issues in a way that no one else is. I’m definitely going to need Sam Bee’s outrage to help keep me sane as we move into the horrors of whatever this Trump presidency is about to bring us.

 

TV Episode

I stopped watching Halt and Catch Fire a few episodes into its first season, but decided to get caught up this summer after hearing so many people talk about how much better the second season was. So in a way it’s a little surprising to me that my favorite episode of the year was from the third season of this show. Season 3, Episode 7 – The Threshold is a great hour of television. Donna and Cameron’s relationship and their building of Mutiny together was the heart of season 2 and what turned this show into something worth watching. Watching it fall apart in this episode was sad but wonderfully acted and excellent to watch.

Album

Music is where my tastes really did not converge with critics or other music listeners as my favorite songs and albums really didn’t show up on any best of 2016 lists. My favorite album of the year was Joseph’s I’m Alone, No You’re Not. Joseph is a group of three sisters who have wonderful harmonies but some of their songs also have a great pop sensibility. I love this whole album, and I hope to be able to see them play more of the album live in 2017.

 

 

Song

I suspect the song I’m putting in this category has a bit of recency bias. I suspect that if I first fell in love with this song say back in March instead of November that I’d probably be sick of it and wouldn’t be including it here, but Wrabel’s 11 Blocks was the song that I loved to sing along to in the car more than any other song this year and the one I always hoped I would hear on the radio when I was driving which is what it earns it this spot. Realistically my choice here should have been Joseph’s SOS (Overboard), which I love and is probably the song I listened to most this year.

 

Concert

Every year my real favorite concert experience is going to the Newport Folk Festival. This year that was no exception. I was already beat down my 2016 at the end of July and that weekend was such a balm for my soul, but I always like to pick another show from the year for this category since Newport being a festival isn’t really a single concert. This year my favorite concert was Garth Brooks. I never got to see him back in the 90s, so I’m glad I finally got the chance. He is an amazing performer and manages to make an arena show feel intimate and so fun. It was so fun to sing along to all those songs of his I loved and also to see Trisha Yearwood perform some of her songs. They are some of the first country artists I ever fell in love with and it was great to finally get a chance to see them live.

 

Broadway Theatre Production

In last year’s post I named Hamilton my favorite theatre production of the year and said I’m going again in April of 2016 so maybe it will be my favorite show of 2016 too. Let’s be realistic. It was. But I also saw other great Broadway shows this year. So even though the best show I saw was Hamilton again, I’m going to put She Loves Me in this category. The production starred Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi and it was delightful. I even paid to re-watch it online when they broadcast a recording of it later in the year.

Baltimore Theatre Production

My favorite theatre production that I saw in Baltimore snuck in at the last moment. It was the touring production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The Broadway production won the Tony for Best New Musical in 2014 and I’ve wanted to see it for years. It was never something that I felt that I needed to see on Broadway though given the limited number of shows I get to see there each year. I always knew I was going to wait until it toured to see it, so I was happy that it finally came around as part of our season tickets to the Hippodrome this year. It was a great show and well worth the wait. It was extremely smart and clever and a show the likes of which I haven’t seen in a long time.

Podcast

I already gave away in a post a few weeks ago that my favorite pocast this year was Out of the Blocks, a local Baltimore podcast from Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick. Their tag line One City Block, One Hour of Radio, Everybody’s Story pretty much describes what the podcast is about. It’s a fascinating look at the city and in the human condition. I highly recommend it to everyone not just people from Baltimore.

Podcast Episode

If Out of the Blocks didn’t exist Mark and Sarah Talk About Songs would have gotten my vote in the previous category. Instead they’ll get the mention in favorite podcast episode. I of course had to pick the episode where they discuss the song I requested, Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”.

 

My Year in Music: A Song a Day Playlist January 1, 2017

Filed under: Music,Pop Culture — dwhren @ 11:39 am

At the beginning of 2016 I decided to create a Spotify playlist that I would add one song to every day. I obviously missed a few days along the way since there are only 361 songs (although for some reason the embedded player only allows you to see 200 songs) on my playlist and there were 366 days in 2016. I tried to add a new song every day, but I see that I managed to put Traveller by Chris Stapleton and Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears on twice. Once I realized I could not in fact remember all the songs I was adding I would try and check, but it was hard to do that while I was traveling and adding songs on the app on my phone.

The songs were basically came from something in my day. If I was going to a concert or a musical I would add a song from that. Other times the songs I put on would be things I heard on the radio, in a store, on tv, or something that was just going through my head for some reason. I’m glad I did it, and it will be fun to go back and listen to the songs that stood out for me in 2016. Some of them are time-tested and would probably wind up on any playlist I made for a year. Others songs I’m pretty sure I already have forgotten what they are. I don’t think I’ll be doing it again though because I found it stressful some days to think of a song. I’ll probably create some sort of 2017 playlist, but not one that forces me to add something to it every day.

 

 

Tea Advent Calendar December 24, 2016

Filed under: Simple Pleasures — dwhren @ 7:54 am

At some point in December someone I follow on Twitter posted a link to a tea advent calendar from David’s Teas saying she wished she had enough money to justify buying it. At $40 it was a little pricey, but I decided that 2016 has been garbage, I could afford it, and this was a little something to help the year go out on a positive note for me.

Each day has a little jar of a different flavor of loose leaf tea. The little box around the jar tells you what flavor the tea is and the best way to prepare it. Getting this is making me super happy that my husband bought a fancy electric kettle that you can set the temperature on since the appropriate temperature for steeping the tea varies. Based on how much tea there is in each jar and how much I need for my morning tea mug I’ll probably get 3-4 servings out of each jar. That means this advent calendar will probably carry me through the winter, which is the only time I really drink hot tea in the morning making the $40 a worthwhile investment.

My friend Paul asked for a review of each of the teas, so the remainder of this post is for him. Here are all the teas I enjoyed during this advent season.

Day 1: Snow Day

I could tell by the smell of this tea and the little chocolate pieces in it when I scooped the loose tea into my infuser that this was going to be a chocolate mint tea. I am not usually a big mint person, so I was a little disappointed this was the flavor on my first day. However, it turns out that I actually really enjoyed this tea. So kudos to David’s Teas for making a chocolate mint tea that I not only tolerated but enjoying drinking.

Day 2: Jumpy Monkey

David’s Teas may have made me a mint chocolate tea that I managed to like, but they could not pull off making me like coffee. There’s a reason I drink tea not coffee. Today’s tea had coffee beans in it, which I could tell as soon as I opened it. Based on that I was pretty sure today’s tea was going to be a big fail for me and it was. If I wanted to drink something that tasted like coffee I would drink coffee.

Day 3: Genmaicha

Today’s tea is a Japanese green tea that also contains puffed and toasted rice. It’s like drinking a rice cake. I’m not a fan.

Day 4: Organic Serenity Now

This is an herbal tea with lots of berry and flower flavors mixed together. I thought it was tasty.

Day 5: Coffee Cake

I was a little worried when I opened this one up that it was going to be another coffee flavored tea, but it wasn’t. It was a black tea with some sweet flavors to it. Pineapple was listed as one of the ingredients and I could see some chunks of dried pineapple in it, though there wasn’t an overwhelming flavor of pineapple. Another winner.

Day 6: Apple Cider

Based on the name you may have already surmised this tea had an apple cider flavor. I’m here for it.

Day 7: Nutty and Spice

Today’s tea had lots of big chunks of fruit and other things, I’m guessing some nuts? It was delicious. Probably my favorite so far. Sadly the big chunks mean there are fewer servings leftover in the jar than the others I’ve had so far.

Day 8: Organic Ginger Pear

A white tea flavored with ginger and pear. It’s decent, but not my favorite. I probably would never buy it on its own.

Day 9: Forever Nuts

A cinnamony, nutty tea. I like.

Day 10: Green Passion Fruit

I liked the way this tea tasted. I just wasn’t in the mood for drinking something fruity on a cold December morning. It didn’t seem like a good tea to drink cozy under a blanket on my couch staring at a Christmas tree. It’s not the tea’s fault though.

Day 11: Hot Chocolate

The base tea in this was pu’erh, which is a fermented tea. I think this is the first time I’ve ever had it. I had never even heard of it before I read a book centered around it a few weeks ago. This was sweetened with some chocolate, but you could definitely taste the fermentation beneath it. I don’t know that it’s my thing.

Day 12: Bear Trap

Today’s tea is a whole mess of berry flavors. It’s a straight fruit infusion. I think it might have worked better combined with some sort of tea leaves. It’s a bit much.

Day 13: Creme Caramel Roobios

A sweetj Roobios tea. I enjoyed it.

Day 14: Irish Breakfast Tea

Your standard black tea. I’m a fan of breakfast teas, so I liked this. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I added a little bit of milk and sugar as the Irish would have wanted, but that’s my fault not the tea’s.

Day 15: Coconut Cream Pie

Cocoutty. Not my favorite flavor in a tea.

Day 16: Strawberry Rhubarb

Another strictly fruit infusion. It tasted good, but I stand by my point that I like some actual tea in my tea.

Day 17: Chocolate Covered Almond

A black tea with almond and chocolate pieces in it. It was ok. I’ve determined that I don’t care that much for the teas with chocolate pieces in them. They taste too much like watered down hot chocolate.

Day 18: Sleigh Ride

Another fruit infusion. This one had lots of fruit in it, but one of those fruits was raisins and that’s all I could taste. Why would you put raisins in tea? Why would you put raisins in anything?

Day 19: Organic Toasted Almond Green

Green tea with toasted almond pieces in it. It had the almond type flavor that comes with almond extract or in marzipan. My husband and I have a fight every year over spritz cookies at Christmas because I don’t care for the version with almond extract and insist on making them with vanilla instead. So I surprised myself by actually enjoying this tea.

Day 20: Cardamom French Toast

I already knew I liked this tea because I bought a whole bag of it. I needed to spend $10 when I bought the advent calendar to get free shipping, so I bought a couple of bags of loose tea. This was one of the flavors. Even if I hadn’t had it before I would have been pretty confident based on the name that it would be right up my alley. I love me some cardamom.

Day 21: Spiced Apple

Pretty much just what it sounds like. A nice little cozy tasting treat coming up on the holidays.

Day 22: English Toffee

This is another pur’eh based tea. I wasn’t a super fan of the fermented flavor of the last one of these I drank, but this one isn’t as bad. I wouldn’t say it actually tastes like toffee in any way, but it is sweet.

Day 23: Organic Kashmiri Chai

A green tea version of chai. I’ve never had chai with a green tea base before. It pretty much tasted like chai, but was kind of mind-bendy since I’m used to my chai tea looking black.

Day 24: Santa’s Sleigh

A black tea with a peppermint flavor. We kind of come full circle ending on another tea with a mint (though peppermint this time) flavor in it. Again David’s managed to make me enjoy this tea even though I’m not a big fan of mint/peppermint.

This has been fun. I’ll probably do it again next year.

 

Out of the Blocks December 22, 2016

Filed under: Baltimore,Podcasts — dwhren @ 8:41 pm

I have failed you dear reader. In starting think about what will be filling up the categories in my annual year end best of pop culture post, I realized that I never wrote up a post  (spoiler!) on my favorite podcast of the year, Out of the Blocks. I thought about it several times, but I guess always when I wasn’t in the mood to write or when I didn’t have time to write and it just never happened. But now that I’ve rectified the error of my ways you can download all the season one episodes for your listening enjoyment over your holiday travels.

Out of the Blocks is a radio show played on WYPR, Baltimore’s NPR station and then made available as a podcast. The show is produced by Aaron Henkin with music by Wendel Patrick. The show is exactly what its tagline implies: One hour of radio, one city block, everybody’s story. Henkin and Patrick choose one block in Baltimore and spend time there recording interviews with everyone associated with it. Depending on the block that can include people who work at businesses on the block, people who frequent the businesses, people who live on the block, or just people who hang out on that block for whatever reason including homeless people and drug dealers. All the interviews are then edited down for the hour-long show with each person’s story I would say averaging about five minutes.

Wendel Patrick composes the music based on the interviews often incorporating the sounds from the businesses or the street into the music. For instance in coffee shops you may hear the coffee brewing as part of the music or hear the buzz of electric razors in barber shops. They’re wonderful compositions that really enhance the stories that are being told and bringing about a sense of place to the pieces.

It truly amazes me the stories that come out of some of the people even after spending such a short time with Aaron Henkin. He really gets them to open up about some very personal things. People really just want to be heard and to tell their stories. It’s so fascinating.

Each block that they visit has it’s own personality and there are so many stories of immigrants and people just trying to make their way in a city that can be very hard. I know Baltimore like any big city has immigrants, but I really never realized how many places people are coming from until I listened to these eight podcast episodes. There are also some really sweet and amazing stories shared by people. I definitely cried more than once listening to this podcast.

I live in Baltimore, so obviously I feel some connection to the blocks in the podcast but I don’t think you need to know Baltimore in order to love this podcast. It’s really about humanity. It could be recorded in any city. It just happens to be recorded in Baltimore. I can’t recommend this podcast highly enough. I am so happy there’s going to be a second season in 2017.

 

Joseph, Pete Yorn, and the Head and the Heart Concert December 17, 2016

Filed under: Concerts,Music,Pop Culture — dwhren @ 10:28 am

 

Last night I went to WRNR’s Holiday Hoo-Ha at Rams Head Live featuring Joseph, Pete Yorn, and The Head and the Heart. Tickets for this concert went on sale shortly after I bought tickets to see The Head and the Heart at DAR Constitution Hall in DC. I like The Head and the Heart so I didn’t mind seeing them twice and I really, really wanted to see Joseph, who spoiler are going to show up in my best of 2016 pop culture post coming soon.

Joseph, a band of three sisters, are wonderful and were definitely the highlight of the night for me. I was sad that they were the first opening act and thus only had a short 30 minute set. I definitely hope to see them again soon when I get to see them play longer. It’s understandable because they have two albums of songs to choose from and such a short time to play, but they definitely didn’t get to everything I was hoping to hear. They were a lot of fun and their voices together are just lovely. My only complaint about their set aside from the fact that it wasn’t long enough was it seemed like the mix was a little off on some of the songs with the drums overwhelming the vocals and other music. I’m pretty sure White Flag is going to need to be my mantra for 2017.

Going into this concert I knew I probably knew some Pete Yorn songs because I recognized his name, but I definitely couldn’t have told you what any of them were. I didn’t bother to look him up or listening to anything before going. I did wind up knowing more of his songs than I thought I probably would, but I still wasn’t super excited by his set. It was just him and his guitar, which is sometimes a great thing but not what I was really in the mood for last night. I don’t dislike Pete Yorn, but I obviously don’t care enough about his music to seek it out or really pay attention to the fact that I know it. I was so tired last night and his set did not help pep me up. I really wish he and Joseph had switched places in the line-up so they got the longer opening set. He played for 50 minutes and I was really ready for him to be done by the end. He even faked us out saying he was playing his last song and then when it was over saying oh do I have time for one more? I do, okay great. When he asked if the crowd wanted him to play one more I definitely heard a lot of no’s including mine. The girl behind me said no, I can’t take this. I’m so tired. I’m right there with you sister.

The Head and the Heart always put on a good show. I didn’t enjoy this set as much as the one I saw in October at DAR. Probably a lot of it was me and not them. I was really struggling with how tired I was by the time they took the stage at 10, and my back hurt from standing around on the concrete floor. I’m old and appreciated the earlier time and the seat at DAR. Plus they played a lot more stuff from their new album this show, which I was surprised they didn’t at DAR. More power to them to do that. It makes sense since that is the album they’re out touring to promote, but I just don’t know that album as well as their earlier too yet and neither did most of the crowd. There were a lot of sing-a-long moments at the DAR show that I enjoyed that didn’t happen last night because people didn’t know the songs. It was still a good show, but of all the times I’ve seen them this was probably my least favorite.