The band: Seven Mary Three, an all time favorite of mine. More on them in a moment.
The venue was here. This was a unique place to see a show, here's a link to a photo of the stage area - it was gigantic! If this place wanted, they could definitely host very large concerts. I suspect the place would hold well north of a couple thousand people. The sound was excellent, much better than the band's last visit to this area.
The set-up for the stage was a little strange though. The stage was in a large area that is set up kind of like a gazebo, elevated about 10 feet or so from ground level. There were steep, narrow stairs surrounding the stage on all sides that would allow for people to walk up towards the stage (this becomes significant later, does it ever!). The bad part was that there were tables and chairs around the area facing the front of the stage. There was probably 40 or 50 feet of empty space and then maybe 100 or so tables with chairs behind that. In my experience, I've found that the majority of people will sit around during the show if given the chance and that saps a lot of the energy out of a live performance. I generally don't like it and think that was the case for this show as well. There certainly were some people on their feet and in front of the stage, but most stayed at the tables and watched from a distance.
The band was great. A new drummer, Michael Levesque, joined the group back in February. Last time I saw the group at the end of March, he was obviously still getting up to speed. Friday's show the entire band was in a great mood and played a great set. Mike's drumming was much more confident, as he obviously had been rehearsing Cumbersome with the band each night in their living rooms. The set list was as follows:
Was A Ghost
Each Little Mystery (Jason and Thomas)
Times Like These (Jason and Thomas)
Tail Lights Fade (Buffalo Tom cover)
Eleanor Rigby (Beatles cover)
Rockin in the Free World (Neil Young cover)
Highlights of the setlist included a great version of Times Like These with some incredible new lyrics from Jason and the Buffalo Tom cover, which I'd never heard before. There was great energy from the band, who really seemed to enjoy the show. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few gems from the crowd.
At one point late in the show, one of the fans literally walked up the steps on one side of the stage during the middle of a song and had a few words with Casey Daniels, the bass player. She was clearly requesting a song - Casey kindly took her request while continuing to play. Beyond this, the crowd really got into things during the last two songs, most folks were up out of their seats and a few especially drunk people came up to the front and center stage area. One particularly rotund and overserved young lady (I'm being generous here) climbed about halfway up the stairs and was really having a great time dancing. At some point, she was joined by another inebriated cohort and they decided that they should turn and dance for the appreciative crowd. Do you smell that???, that's sarcasm. The band seemed to get a kick out of it and actually stopped playing in the middle of Free World twice. Our dancing friends scarcely noticed the lack of music and kept on gyrating. While visually disturbing, it was quite entertaining and put a fun cap on the evening's events. Here's a link to the madness.
All in all, it was a good show. A pretty standard setlist with a couple of highlights, a medium attendance from the band's strong midwest hardcore fanbase and some drunken frivolity to top it all off!
Until next time.