Halfway through the Annuals set on Friday night I had the thought, “if you aren’t at the Pour House tonight, you’re missing out.” The thought came as Adam Baker thanked the crowd for choosing the Pour House over wherever the Black Eyed Peas were playing at on Friday night. It’s true – -if you weren’t there, you did miss out. Annuals destroyed it, but who wasn’t expecting that? Let me tell you about what you missed that you might not would have expected.
Just before 10 p.m., bright tones began to sound from hollow body electrics and classic tele’s. Though the atmosphere was thick with loud anticipation of the upcoming night, the subtle pitches of the tuning process let the audience know that Bright Young Things was about to start an incredible night. I was still at the bar ordering a sweetwater, cold, off the tap, when the sound of a pure American style rock band began to change this bar atmosphere into a rock and roll music show. Bright Young Things kept it high energy, played a tight set, and before it seemed any time had passed, had to wrap up their set to let the next act come on.
By the time the set was over, I had slithered my way through the crowded bar to about 10 feet back from the stage, middle. I didn’t want to lose my spot (to ensure you a great blog entry, of course) so my friend stepped to the bar in the back to refresh our beverages while I held tight. A fellow concert goer that I had never met before noticed I was standing there alone. After the usual “whats up man,” he asked if I knew who was playing tonight. I smiled a little bit, just knowing how lucky my new friend was, and told him Gray Young was up next and then Annuals were taking the stage. He asked the likely question: “well, are they good?” Response: “Well, everyone like Annuals man, but if you listen to rock music (I could tell he did), get ready for Gray Young. Its just a loop pedal and hard rock, you’re going to like it.”
The conversation ended soon, but I later found my friend in the bathroom line after the show. I asked him what he thought. His only response was, and I quote, “you were right man, Gray Young (expletive deleted)ing rocked.” We were both right, Gray Young drove a rift through the room with an explosive resonance sounding from the striking of the first chord. The bombardment of sound, full of rhythm and tone-hope and a touch of longing, didn’t stop until the stage had to be set for what was to come.
I’m not sure of the time, but I know the moment that Annuals began to trickle out onto the stage. Suddenly everyone in the room began to notice that one of Raleigh’s favorite children, the very one that welcomed 2010 into our realm at the downtown new year’s party, was taking the stage. Ears were treated to Nick Radford taking shots at his drumheads, checking the tones. For the eyes, there was the beautiful Anna Spence checking her patches and keys while Kenny Florence operated his tuning pedal. The taste of cold brew for the mouth and for the nose the smell of spring only days away and a thick room already subjected to great local rock. Nothing immediate to the touch, instead hands and minds were reaching out to moments later when the music would start. The set list began and seemed to end before I knew what had happened. Annuals destroyed the room , like we all knew they would, but few would have called that the entirety of the room would know all the words – that the crowd would be so energetic that the band would exclaim again and over again that “this is (same expletive as before)ing awesome!”
The point to all of this? Friday night was a great display of local music in Raleigh. If you weren’t there, you missed out. It was an eclectic night with elements of alt. rock, post rock, indie, folk, and so much more. If you did miss out, don’t fret don’t sweat. It happens every week somewhere here in the triangle. The local music scene is exploding around this town, you should get there. Maybe I’ll catch you in the crowd next time.