Thursday, October 06, 2005

Aqualung and Jason

Lauren and I went to the Aqualung concert at the Variety Playhouse Wednesday night. It was brilliant. I don't think Lauren would describe it in such completely positive terms, but I thought it was wonderful. There are several reasons why I liked this concert so much. Here they are:
  • Variety Playhouse was not packed at all. I love concerts, but I hate the crowds. At this show, I wasn't standing within 6 inches of anybody. Cool!
  • The main guy in Aqualung is Matt Hales. He is pretty much the integral part of the band. He plays the piano and sings, his brother plays the guitar, and there are guys on bass and drums (Click on the link to get their names.) They have guest members playing the violin and classical guitar (I guess that's what it's called?). Anyway, it's great because Hales was classically trained in music, so you know he's good.
  • He's from Southampton, England. This plays into the bands appeal in many ways, but I thought his blues song was the best manifestation of that. For the 3rd or 4th song in the set, he told the audience that the band liked Atlanta a lot, and so they played a funky blues song to convey that. It was more like a jam session. What I mean is, they didn't have a specific song prepared. It was just your basic blues tune (da-DA-da-DA, boom-boom-boom-boom. . . does that make sense? I've never put bluesy sounds into words before.) with silly lyrics added that went something like this: "I grew up in Southampton, where there aren't any black people, so I'm not really qualified to sing the blues. . ."
  • This ties into another point, which is that it was like they didn't want to just perform their music; they wanted to share it. This led to a kind of conversation with the audience. Matt Hales talked to us like a regular guy, and what with the spontaneous jammin', I felt like the band really enjoys what they are doing.
  • Matt Hales said "thank you" A LOT. I find that bands from the UK tend to be really great about that. It makes me feel like they really appreciate the fact that they are making money playing music.
  • Hales seems like such a happy guy; he knows when he's played too many sad songs in a row. Aqualung kind of has a sound like Radiohead, but the joyous quality in a lot of the songs really sets them apart (and maybe -- do I dare say it? -- above) Radiohead.
  • The last song of the 3-set encore was Queen's "Somebody To Love." Who doesn't like that? It was the BEST EVER!
My momma took the digital camera to the west with her this week, so I don't have any really good pictures. I did, however, get a couple with my cell phone, so I'll post those here. In addition, I will refer you to Lauren's blog, which has much, much better pictures of the event.

Actually, now that I look at the pictures on my cell phone, I can see that they're terrible. So all of the good and clear pictures you see on here are Lauren's. I was pretty pumped about the show, so I was really into this "Before and After" thing.

This is Lauren BEFORE,

And this is me BEFORE (I'm trying to figure out why I look so pink.)

This is Matt Hales:

This is Lauren AFTER,

And this is me AFTER (back to normal human color):

Here we both are after. I think Lauren did a pretty nice job on this pic. It only took her one try to get us both in the shot.

Basically, Matt Hales really knows how to "work" a crowd. If you ever have the chance to see this band play, take it! I'm about 95% sure that anybody who listens to them will like them. To sample their music, click here.

In completely unrelated post material, Lauren and I later met up with our high school friend, Jason. Jason lives in Little Five Points in Atlanta (which is where the Variety is), so we decided to take the opportunity to see him because we hadn't seen him in about 3 or 4 years. We walked to The Carroll Street Cafe and caught up on each other's news. I must say, I LOVE getting together with old friends. Even if they're not doing so great (which Jason is, but I'm digressing into a general discussion), it's good to know that they're alive and for the most part, well. So Jason is double majoring in Computer Information Systems and . . . hmm, something like sound recording (?). For those of you who didn't know Jason, I'll say that he's probably one of the smartest guys around, so if you should ever meet him, get to know him! Here's what he looks like:

All in all, it was a very fine night. The weather was fantastic, and I had more fun here in the good ol' city of Atlanta than I've had in a while.

Thing I'm thankful for: Feeding the duckies with my niece -- which I did today, even though it was slightly raining.


Blogger Lauren said...

Yo, Pinky.

Wow...that is a long, comprehensive post. I just wrote, "It was a good show," or something.

Really, though. Nice descriptions of the show.

5:03 PM  

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