On Saturday June 5th I went with a buddy of mine from church to go see the Flyleaf show here in town. I had purchased my ticket a couple of weeks before and was planning on picking it up at the will call window.
Originally Grant was supposed to be driving us to the show, but the day before the show he had some sort of problem with his fuel pump, so I ended up being the driver for the night. After work I went home, changed out of work clothes and into my concert clothes. (A rock T-shirt, and some shorts, because I suspected it was going to be hot in the venue.)
I waited around for a little bit until it was time to leave, and headed out to pick up Grant. I stopped by his apartment, and he was ready to go, so we headed out discussing what we wanted to eat for dinner. We finally settled on Subway because Grant wanted a meatball sub, and I wanted something cheap. $5 footlong anyone? So we stopped at Subway and they messed up something with his sandwich, so we ended up being there for awhile waiting on them to do something with the meat balls.
Anyway, after Grant had gotten his sandwiach we ate, talking about what all concerts we had been to before. Grant is a few years older than I am, and his musical tastes tend to reflect as such. Though he is a big fan of Rage Against The Machine, so that is definitely something we bonded over. After we were done eating we headed down town for the show.
We parked in the Cal-Neva casino parking lot. Parking was $5 because there was a Reno Aces (farm league baseball) game going on. I didn’t mind too much, because that was way cheaper than parking for a concert, or a baseball game for that matter, in Dallas. Once we got parked (I was able to get a great parking space on the second level) we walked over to the show.
There was a line out the door and around the corner, which was surprising since we had arrived late enough that the doors should have already opened. After a few minutes we realized the line was moving. It was moving pretty quickly, but only moving at a pace of about 3 or 4 steps at a time. Once we got closer to the front I saw the will call table, and got my ticket from the guy. Grant had printed his online.
We got around the corner and found out what was taking so long. They were wanding everyone with a metal detector and rooting through all the girls purses before people were allowed in. We stepped inside and came across what is probably in my top 3 favorite concert venues ever. It was just a long wide open floor. There was a full bar on the right hand side. The stage itself was way up in front of the room, but the room wasn’t very wide, just long. there were 2 sets of stairs on the left side opposite the bar. One set of stairs led up to the bathrooms, the other set led up to the VIP area which, at more than double the cost of a regular ticket, I did not get to experience. It’s a no smoking environment, which I really enjoyed, but it also had easy access to a fenced in area out on the street where people can go smoke, which I bet the smokers really enjoyed. They also kept it very nice and cool throughout all the bands.
Speaking of bands, first up we had Fair To Midland. Now I was a bit confused at first as to which band this was as they never actually said it while they were on stage. I thought this band would be 10 years (the other opening band) but I was wrong. So if you saw tweets and/or Facebook updates from the show that mention Fair To Midland, I was actually talking about 10 years, and vice versa. (I finally figured out which band was which when 10 years said at the end of their set “We are 10 years, thank you for coming out tonight!” or something to that effect).
So, anyway, Fair To Midland came out.
I had expected to like these guys, and I seem to recall hearing one of their songs right before I left the Texas area. FTM is a north east Texas band, from the area I hail from. I must not have remembered right, because the guys I saw on stage weren’t great. They weren’t bad either. Their drummer was doing some insane stuff up their on stage. I mean that guy was just amazing. It was the guitar playing, and singing that I didn’t dig that much. I didn’t like how the lead singers voice sounded at all. Maybe they do better when they are in the studio? I don’t know. After what I saw I doubt I’ll be giving them a try. The high light of their set was when a guy dressed in only a costume horse head, combat boots, tighty whitey underwear, and a gay pride flag around his neck like a cape. He came on stage and started wrestling with the lead singer. He also danced a lot, and helped the drummer crash his symbols. The horsehead guy was pretty entertaining in a “WTF was that?” kind of way. The crowd seemed to be into it. This was towards the end of their set that gay horsehead man came on stage.
When they were done there was a very quick set change where FTM’s instruments and equipment was taken down and then wheeled off stage, and 10 Years instruments were wheeled on and set up.
10 Years came on stage and managed to get the crowd to actually move.
While they didn’t have anyone on stage as talented as Fair To Midland’s drummer, the sum of 10 years parts ended up being way better than FTM’s. 10 Years knows how to play to a crowd and they did an awesome job of it. I was unfamilliar with all but 2 or 3 of their songs, but they were so good it was still easy to enjoy the show.
Once 10 years was done it took awhile for Flyleaf to get the stage setup. But then the lights went out, and they came on the stage, and sounded amazing. All of the songs they played were off of the Flyleaf self titled or the Memento Mori album, but they were all awesome.
I was probably most impressed with the way I’m so sick sounded so much like the studio version. Lacey Mosely has one of the best voices in music and it was clearly on display at the show that night. The other song that made the biggest impression on me was “So I Thought”. The lead singer from Fair To Midland came on stage to do a duet with Lacey Mosely and the way their two voices meshed was so absolutely amazing. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a duet as wonderful as that live ever before. It was that amazing.
Flyleaf ended up playing for about an hour and a half. There wasn’t an encore, but that was ok, because they had played all their songs just about. That and Grant and I were REALLY tired, and me being sick I was barely able to stand by the end of the show. One thing I am happy to say is that Grant and I were not the oldest people at the show. I was afraid we would be, but there were some older folks there, and I believe I even saw a set of grandparents there.