So as it turns out, trying to encapsulate my Fall Line Fest experience in a single post is preventing me from writing anything at all about it. That’s no fun. I want to share a bunch of pictures, I have a great video of No BS! Brass Band covering “Thriller,” there’s a cat story… it’s just too much to cram into a single serving. So I’m heeding the advice issued in The White Stripes’ “Little Acorns” and taking things one at a time.
My very first Fall Line Fest experience came via Kopecky Family Band, the Camel’s Friday night closer. I made it to the Camel just as the preceding act was tearing down — right on schedule, to everyone involved’s credit — which gave me the opportunity to watch the venue’s stage side clear, start to fill in again, and eventually become crowded with gold-wristband-wearing, excited, eager-to-sing-along supporters whose enthusiasm was rewarded handsomely.
While the highs of the show were certainly high (I’m speaking literally here — as you can see from the picture above, certain members of the band would climb things at particularly elevated moments), the quietest moments are the ones that have stuck with me most.
[Editor’s Note: A little while back, I gently asked my friend Travis if he would do a guest post when he hit his much-anticipated 100-concert milestone. I couldn’t be more excited about what he wrote (if the benediction at the end doesn’t leave you a little verklempt, you may want to check your pulse). Without further ado…]
By TRAVIS HOFFMANN
I had to say goodbye to my horses. It just had to be done. Buffalo Bill would be proud.
A few years ago, I was trolling through my stack of concert ticket stubs (I’m currently working my way through a mild case of hoardism), nostalgically reminiscing about each concert fondly as I thumbed through. Or in the case of one particular show, where a particular tween high on ecstasy (not as high as whatever this guy is on though – yikes!) kept wanting to incessantly hug me, maybe not so fondly. Out of pure curiosity, I decided to count them. I ended up with 66. Shit, I thought, as I looked at them again, I really haven’t been to that many shows in the past few years (8 shows in a 3 year span??!!). What the hell had happened? Had I lulled myself into some kind of boring and pathetic 9-to-5 routine? Had I stopped participating in one of the pure enjoyments that gave me such great pleasure? Fuck dat, I knew what I had to do. I had to put my thang down, flip it and reverse it. And the only way I knew I could ensure that I actually got back at it was to set myself a firm goal: 100 concerts before I turned 30. It wouldn’t be easy, but it was guaranteed to be a whole whopping load of fun – I’d essentially have to do about a concert a month for the next 3 years, but I was excited like all get out. I didn’t really care about the actual number – the 100 or the 30 – they were just both nice even numbers that my tiny brain could remember easily. Hell, in the past month since show 1-0-0, I’ve been to three more (200 by 40 anyone? Just kidding honey).
Concerts are time capsules of unique musical goodness, snowflakes of the stage – each their own little piece of individuality. Along this journey I’ve learned that attending a show is the epitome of being able to completely immerse yourself in the moment. Something it seems we rarely get to do in this day and age of instant-gratification-need-it-now-no-I-will-not-wait-5-seconds-for-this-to-download culture. For as long as I can remember, music, and more specifically being at a live show, has been my preferred vice when I need/want release from all the worries/concerns/stresses that happen to creep up in the course of everyday life. The band Reptar sums this construct up perfectly with their Twitter bio: “we play music that makes you wanna dance and feel all your emotions.” Like any good vice, it’s a balance – wavering on the edge of an addiction – but that’s a battle I’m more than willing to address when the time comes. Or maybe I’ll just go see a show and leave that worry behind.
Alright, enough with all that mumbo-jumbo, let’s talk about this 100th show.