Fair To Midland At The Middle East Downstairs 04-17-2012

It’s so hard to put into words what I experienced on Tuesday night. Fair To Midland shows are religious pilgrimages more than they are shows that are attended for enjoyment. Something happens at these shows that pulls us from reality and places us on a completely different world. Soft and sweet melodies change to a harsh heavy distortion and back again. It’s flying like an Arrow and crashing back to earth like an Anchor. It’s something everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

Mindwalk Boulevard opened the night with some local Massachusetts rock and roll.

Lionize brought some swamp rock into the basement dwelling citizens.

Dead Letter Circus brought their hybrid breed of alternative metal to the States, because Australia isn’t big enough.

I would recommend checking out all three of these bands. Lionize is really amazing and I couldn’t help but wet my pants to their music. Dead Letter Circus crushed my expectations at first, because I was expecting a sound that would be heavier and in-your-face, however, I opened up to them by the end and their studio work is beautiful.

I always say it’s important that one experience a band live before listening to their studio work, and I cannot stress that enough with the four bands who played Tuesday, and most especially Fair To Midland. It’s one thing to hear their music on a CD, computer, streaming on the internet, or even the ratio, but their live show is something else. It’s wild, powerful, emotional, passionate, incredible, beautiful. A woman we met during the meet and greet before the show told FTM “I’m probably going to cry, your music is so powerful that it’s hard to keep the emotion in.” This is not in the least bit surprising, because a Fair To Midland experience is nothing short of immaculate.

The first song of the night was the intro track “Heaven to Murgatroyd” which opens the Arrow & Anchors album, and as soon as the music for “Whiskey and Ritalin” kicked in, Darroh, FTM’s lead singer, made a bolt for the crowd and flung himself from the stage and onto our bodies. The only problem was that I forgot the key rule to any Fair To Midland show: “Always keep an eye on Darroh.” For the slightest second I took my eye off Darroh and was preparing to take a photo of the bassist Ryan, and I didn’t notice Darroh’s foot was in perfect trajectory with my nose until it had made the connection.

The Broken Nose Photo

The Broken Nose Photo

That photo will always be known to me as “The Broken Nose Photo,” because somehow, even with nothing touching my camera, it changed all sorts of settings and came out in a wild pastel colored mayhem. Purely my own fault for not paying attention, my broken nose and this photo are going to live in infamy. Darroh’s too wild to be kept on a single stage and stage diving is natural for a Fair To Midland show. When I saw them in New York last year, I’m pretty sure he spent more time in the crowd than on stage, which prompted my quote of, “I think Darroh Sudderth is allergic to stages.”

Take a look at the videos I captured (audio is low quality), the photos I took, and check out all the bands at a show if you can, before listening in to their studio work:

Fair To Midland – Rikki Tikki Tavi (Live in Boston 04-17-2012)

Fair To Midland – Musical Chairs Ft. Kim Benzie of Dead Letter Circus (Live in Boston 04-17-2012)


Have a question? Email: joe@joerenken.com or message Joe on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Renken

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