Participating in a road trip to see a show is the equivalent of a blood oath or rite of passage in the indie rock scene. We have all experienced the feeling of getting into a band only to discover, with disappointment, that they were not making a pit stop in our respective city. Without the requisite crystal ball, it is impossible to know when the next opportunity to see that band will come. Decisions must be made.
This weekend my indie rock partnership was solidified with a band that I have not been able to shut up about on this blog: New Jersey’s Real Estate. Their release Days is my favorite album of the Fall season and this also gave me an opportunity to meet up with an old roommate, good friend, and fellow musical connoisseur. The itinerary: depart from Indianapolis in the morning, swing through Cincinnati to pick up teammate, and then down to the land where Wildcats, race horses and bourbon are the only topics of conversation. The trip has come and gone, but will not be forgotten. Thank you Lexington, Kentucky for the southern hospitality, the opportunity to hang out with an awesome friend, and providing me a reasonable geographical haven to rock out with Real Estate.
Nearly 400 miles were covered on this voyage. While this number is not extremely overwhelming it displays a sense of loyalty to me. Expeditions to see bands are extremely fun. It is not only a bonding experience with music, but also gives you plenty of drive time to ask yourself why am I doing this? For them? Real Estate’s October release of Days immediately placed them in the category of bands that I had to see before the year was over. The venue was perfect, the beer was delicious, and Real Estate extended their property lines in my musical mind.
Three bands opened for Real Estate, but Lexington’s Idiot Glee stood out as the most interesting to me. While they were a little rough around the edges, the potential was there. I will keep my eye on this trio to see what they do next, but I have a feeling we all will be talking about them soon. Stream their latest album Paddywhack:
Real Estate hit the stage at 12:30 AM and they were absolutely worth the drive. They shredded tracks from their new album while reaching back on old favorites. This band has a certain synergy and you can tell they have fun together. They were able to translate this live and build on the energetic vibe of the audience. People were here to get excited about an emerging band, and their performance materialized with the mass.
Dedicated fans gushed over the “Killin’ the Vibe” teaser in between songs and new followers exploded for “It’s Real”.
I am not sure if it was the traveling, the album, or the opportunity to reconnect with my friend, but this was truly one of my favorite live shows of 2011. I am thankful for a lot of things this holiday season: great job, awesome family, and my health. Thankfulness for good tunes is something I always think about during this time of the year. Real Estate has cemented themselves into this category and a legitimate contender for my band of the year as we close out 2011. While I now have a new bond with a band that I appreciate, I would imagine more stories like this will be created as the career of a group of guys from the Jersey suburbs continues their conquest of your musical mind.
Written by Brett McGrath