I have to apologize to my boyfriends and band crushes, because you are all suddenly and irrevocably paler in comparison. Finn Andrews and the rest of The Veils have skipped town with my heart and I may not ever recover. Their show Wednesday July 15th at Spaceland was an experience I’ll not soon forget and I’m doubtful that another band will be able to match it any time soon.
The venue is cozy and I am thankful for that because being 10 feet away from a band is priceless and frankly the only way to see a show. Giddy, I was bouncing between the standard issue LA Hipsters, too cool to express their excitement…or maybe they just didn’t know what I did. This show was going to be epic and so what if I look like an ass.
I don’t want to pick the show apart song by song, but rather express what we all want to know about a live band. The presence is really there and the music needs no studio to survive.
Though presumably touring to promote the new album, the band seemed to care more about what songs they could do justice to in a crowded room and they opened with Not Yet, from “Nux Vomica” and set the tone for the rest of the night: Deliberate.
The intensity was there, no sloppy lyric pushing or intent-less mumble, confirming my suspicions that such a poet would undoubtedly perform so passionately. Hypnotic. I was never happier to be sober and staring down the barrel of a gun. This show would surely obliterate my ability to feel this kind of frightened anticipation again. Frightened because sooner, rather than later, it would be over. (**With no desire to imitate, I chuckled when I read the same word used in the LA Times review after writing this, and since we agree, why not emphasize the point rather than re-word it).
The moments between songs always deliver jems, and one of my favorites was Finn’s anecdote for Sit Down By The Fire. He said that everyone always remarks on how warm and catchy the chorus is, sitting down by a fire…how cozy. His intent however was not to elicit warm fuzzies but rather to invite us to sit in proximity of the heat of our burning, decaying future and watch it go up in flames. He was appropriately amused, and it was charming. As the show progressed the entire, and impressively passionate band was drenched, as were we in gifts. Bows on guitars, a drummer that I haven’t found a good enough word for yet, Sophia Burn’s presence and Finn, playing every song, almost as if it were his last. Raging. Haunting. I loved these songs before, but they have become new again, as if being poured through a thin psychotropic filter.
Towards the end of the show, Finn addressed the audience expressing his difficulty (ironic for such a Wordsmith) in expressing his sincere gratitude for being able to come and play for us. I was immediately reminded of the night I witnessed Jazz Bass legend Abraham Laborial Sr. play for a packed club. Abraham and Finn both throw themselves into their instruments sacrificially as if to serve the greater purpose of passionate expression. Abraham spoke to us in a similar tone, took some time and explained to the audience what it means for a musician to have the opportunity to play their music to an eager crowd. He said that when people feel listened to, they feel loved and for musicians, having an audience listen and express their joy is akin to the joy of feeling truly loved and it becomes a reciprocal experience of giving and receiving love. I can’t do Abraham’s words, nor the moment justice, but Finn, I’m wondering if maybe that’s what you were trying to express?
On behalf of your audience, I can at least confirm that we felt it.