Ok, so maybe I'm not as behind as I thought, I've just jumped around on my posts. In the first week of February, I saw the Fruit Bats show, Devotchka, worked at Bird and The Bee and Obi Best, worked at Greg Laswell and Joshua James, then even hit Blind Lady and the Ken Club for Swim Party, Le Switch and Gray Ghosts but (1), I learned it's not a good idea to spend an entire day at Blind Lady Alehouse and (2) my best friend came to hang out at the Ken and we had a lot of catching up to do. My photos from the night just aren't worth posting though it was a great night (or at least what I remember). I took it easy the next couple nights, then had my computer crisis, lunching with friends, a girls night out with a movie screening and wine ("Confessions of a Shopaholic": save your money), and taking some time out for life organization. By the time Wednesday night rolled around, I was ready for a kick ass show.
I have neglected this post because I had another nightmarish times at House of Blues, but the truth of the matter, despite the hour wasted securing my wristband, was that the show was really great. I went with Alex and Eric from Swim Party and when we finally got in, Henry Clay People had already started and as usual, they were having a blast onstage.
The show was in the Delta Room (on the same night that Elefante was playing in the main concert hall and Lisa Hannigan was playing on the 5th Avenue Sidestage: logistical hell) and it was sold out. The air was already quite swampy as the A/C just couldn't work hard enough, but the tight crowd didn't seem to mind as brothers Andy and Joey held court backed by the newer members of the band. The performance made the whole House of Blues ticket debacle melt away as they played material from their new release "For Cheap Or For Free" as well as older stuff including the crowd favortite, "Working Part Time". They also did a fantastic medley that just has to be seen live.
Henry Clay People were followed by Airborne Toxic Event. I was up front with Chickrawker and we chatted with Mikel as he set up his gear. He vented about his box office issues (they gave his mom a hard time because she wasn't on the right list) but was really cool to engage us until it was time for the band to play. And boy, did they play. From the first note to the last, they owned the crowd and it was apparent from the beginning that it probably won't be likely to see a band like this in such an intimate venue again. It reminded me of the rise of Silversun Pickups, where you only hope they'll play some small secret shows even after they garner some national success.
For more photos and recap, click 'keep on reading'.
More Henry Clay People photos:
The Airborne Toxic Event has the perfect formula for an indie rock band. Aside from the immensely talented band members and the great songwriting, there's the funny and engagin Mikel up front, the cute Anna on violin and keys, Steven, the not so common indie rock Asian, the uber sexy Noah on bass, and Daren killing it on the drums. They are performers in every sense and you really get the sense they're enjoying every second on stage...
Photos in the Delta Room weren't exactly easy as there was some crazy single light right on Mikel's face, that started out bright yellow but after he mentioned it before the set, changed to a deep blue.
Toward the end of the set, the band got really loose and was all over the place using every piece of the stage.
They blew the crowd away with "Sometime Around Midnight" but didn't stop there and even graced the crowd with an encore where they decided to climb the speakers.
For their final song, they invited the audience on the stage, and while initially timid, several people indulged.
Mikel joked throughout the show that a large portion of the audience were related to him (28 cousins?) and gave shoutouts to uncles and warning to the audience ("Watch your wallets!"), but I particularly love that his aunt was one of the people who joined the band onstage. I would love to see what Christmas is like with their family.
The show really blew me away and I was able to grab a setlist at the end of the show. The Henry Clay People were staying with Alex, so we waited after the show and helped unload gear, but while we waited, I had the band sign their setlist and I appreciated that they personalized it, adding a song that was unplanned (Wishing Well), and Daren commenting on "Nowhere", "This was my favorite song to play tonight."
The show ended pretty early but sincce everyone had to be up early the next day, we made our way back to Alex's house and I was on my way. This was a picture of us in the freight elevator at the House of Blues on our way out.