Last night’s show with Nada Surf, Rogue Wave and The King of France was awesome! We really couldn’t have worked with a greater grouping of three bands. They each brought their own uniqueness to the show, but it really felt like a continuous performance of solid music.
I got to the venue around 6pm, met a lot of the people that I had been dealing with for the last several weeks to make this show come together. I was especially excited about meeting Michael Azerrad, who pens some of the greatest music journalism of our time. Oh, and he’s the drummer for The King of France too. We talked a lot about music, specifically his work at eMusic and discovering new bands. Enough gushing about Michael though. I had read about The King of France in Salon magazine, but didn’t know much more about them. Seeing them play sealed the deal though. They put on an awesome show and their songs were fantastic. I think every Network LIVE employee in attendance was impressed. I heard, ‘i really like these guys’ a few times.
I wandered downstairs to our operations area. It’s where the magic happens. Lot’s of video monitors, people buzzing all over and you realize things are really happening. It all starts coming together, quite literally, before your eyes. I’ve been a music fan for a long time and have worked in and around music for quite a while as well. When I’m at our shows, I’m an excited fan just as much as I am a Network LIVE employee. I’m proud of what we do and it’s cool to see it happen. When I talk to managers, label people and bands, everyone realizes that despite the fact that what we do may sometimes feel big and impersonal, there are real music fans, excited about what we do, behind the scenes. I’m always taking people to watch the monitors so they can see how it works and end up talking about how cool it is.
Rogue Wave climbs the stairs from the basement of the Henry Fonda Theatre and take their places on stage. I decide to hang out on the side of the stage for their performance. The curtain goes up and reveals the packed, sold out audience. I got chills. Yeah, there were only 1200 people, but it looked like 12,000 from where I was standing. Network LIVE’s name was on the far wall and everything just felt good. The sound was awesome. People kept saying how great it sounded in the audience. I wandered out for a few songs and then went back downstairs to catch the last song on the monitors.
I’ve been a Nada Surf fan for a number of years. I’ll come clean about not liking them when "Popular" was released. Someone handed me a copy of Proximity Effect, which was released in 2000 and I have been a fan ever since. Their last couple of albums have been some of my favorites. There was a funny moment with Matthew (lead singer) before the show. I was standing around talking to Van Riker from their label, and Ben Weber, their manager. He came right up to me and started talking to me like we’d been friends for years. He thought I was Rocky Votolato (another Barsuk artist) as it turned out. Maybe it was the lighting… Rocky happened to be playing at the Troubadour last night, but I digress… Nada Surf played for like 4 hours… okay, it was more like 90 minutes, but they played a lot of songs and the crowd was really into it, especially when everyone jumped on stage for "Blankest Year" and when they played "Popular." I was totally impressed by their show and only solidified my fandom.
Last night’s show was fantastic and only seemed to solidify what I already know… the S.R.O. series is going to be an awesome way for people to discover new music and give the underexposed more exposure. I think Filter says it best – Good music will prevail.