Sunday, May 16, 2010

SafetySuit - Manchester, NH 5.8.10

To round out my busy weekend last weekend, was the SafetySuit concert at Manchester Community College Saturday night. I had kind of seen them perform once before, last summer at the Collective Soul show - they were the second opener after Ryan Star performed. And since I had really only gone to the show to see Ryan, I didn't pay attention to their set much, if at all. I had heard their single, Stay, and my friend Heather told me to get their album because it was good. And she was right. I picked it up and loved it immediately. From then on, I was adamant to get to a show and see these guys live.

I had missed out twice earlier in the year - I just couldn't make the January show at the Paradise work for me logistically, and then didn't get to the Mohegan Sun show because it was a Friday night and a bit of a drive (It was dumb of me to not suck it up and go, I admit it now), so when I heard they were playing Manchester Community College's Spring Bash, I got tickets, and with Lisa and Christy in tow, we headed north.

It had rained that morning (and I mean, poured) and thankfully by the time the girls arrived, it had pretty much stopped raining. We arrived at the college at around 330 (doors were opening at 5), met up with Jess, Ali, and Jenn and headed to hang outside the tent where the concert was. Of course, as we arrive, staff members are closing up the tent because SafetySuit was going to soundcheck, so we hung outside, listened to them soundcheck, laughed at J when he said shit and that he could see his breath, and braved the rain (even though it had started to rain, they wouldn't let us in early) before they finally opened the tent at 5. Lisa and I managed to get right up front to the barricade, front row J side. I really wanted to be more in between J and Doug and not straight in front of them for picture purposes, but it actually worked out well.

The opening band was supposed to be We Shot the Moon, but they had to cancel at the last minute, so we got another band from NYC called The Narrative. They played for about.....40 minutes or so, and were engaging with the audience, kept us interested, and were very good. They mentioned they're working on a CD, but they have an EP out now and they are worth checking out. It was just Jesse on guitar and Suzie on keyboards, and Suzie did mention that they have a couple of other members, but for this show it was just the two of them since it was such a last minute thing. It bears mentioning that towards the end of the set, Suzie took her jacket off because she was hot. It was in reality, about 50 degrees outside, but inside the tent it wasn't cold. I guess the lights and the body heat made it warm? I talked to her after and she did say she was freezing, so I guess it really was the adrenaline from being on stage that made her warm!

After they wrapped up, we had about 20 minutes or so before SafetySuit took the stage, so we chatted amongst ourselves, watched Chico and John Park wander around and get things ready, and finally at 7, the music turned off and SafetySuit took the stage with a resounding Crash. Literally. I was enthralled from the very first note, and they never let up through the entire hour they played. Setlist was as follows: Crash • Something I Said • Down • Annie • I am Beautiful (an interlude that seemed kind of spontaneous) • Anywhere But Here • Find A Way • The Moment • Someone Like You • Stay • Apology • Encore: • What If (kind of spontaneous (acoustic) w/ just Doug on stage) • You Don't See Me • Gone Away 

During Annie, Doug was talking about how the ladies are beautiful, and told us that we should always love what we are when we look in the mirror and  not to let anyone tell us otherwise. It's what led into the 'I am Beautiful' interlude. It was a really powerful moment. Words can't really and fully describe what it meant to me, and Annie now has a different and powerful meaning to me. The band has such energy when they're on stage - especially Dave! He is insane on stage, always jumping around and running all over the place. I'm really not sure where he gets the energy he does and he gets absurd air.

Before they sang Stay, Doug was talking about VH1 and how the fans got the video to number 1 and how they're getting the opportunity to make a second album and are grateful for that. Halfway through the song, Doug asked how many people were there that this was their first show - and he welcomed us to the family. I thought it was entirely classy and goes to show they really do appreciate their fans. They wrapped up their set with Apology, in which Doug, Dave and J were jumping in unison on the chorus, and I was amused that they could do that and not miss a beat. In retrospect, I wish I had videoed it and/or gotten pictures of the three of them jumping, but my battery was dying at that point and I wanted to save it for pictures after. We were all going nuts after they walked off stage, and then just Doug came back out with his acoustic guitar and sang What If. What If is probably my second favorite song on the album after Anywhere But Here - I was almost in tears because the song was touching me so much. He then sang a new song called You Don't See Me alone, and the guys joined him on stage and they all sang Gone Away.

Hearing SafetySuit live was an absolutely emotional experience for me. There's only one other person who's music has touched me in the same way - and I wasn't sure anyone else could do that. I get the vibe that this album is so insanely personal, as a lot of the songs are about breakups, heartbreak and love. I've always gotten a bit of that vibe just by listening to it, but hearing it live killed me in the best emotional way. I told Doug that after when I met them in the tent after. They stay to meet every single fan after and truly listen and appreciate everyone. Its so gratifying to know that the bands that I love are such great people as well. I had already met Dave after we had stepped outside immediately following the show, as he had come down from the little building up on the hill with Tate. Dave had stopped to talk to us and take pictures and sign a few things for our group, and made sure we were all happy with our pictures before he left. He took 3 pictures with me to get 1 good picture - there's not a lot of people who'll do that! We ended up going inside the tent to hang out and wait to talk with the rest of the guys, and it was a good thing because not long after we got under cover, it starts downpouring. We did end up hanging around for another 20-30 minutes between talking to the guys and talking to friends -new and old - so by the time we left the rain had stopped.

I'm so glad I was able to get to this show. I will never miss a show locally, and if there's a chance for me to see them in my travels, I absolutely will. I feel lucky to be a part of the final show for the Life Left To Go album and can't wait to see what the new album and tour holds. I recommend picking up the album and going to see them if you have a chance. They're taking a break from the road to record the new album, but once it comes out, they'll be back on the road. And it'll be a whole new chapter, that I can't wait to be a part of.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I totally one million percent agree. :) You're a good writer.