Sunday, February 9, 2014

Jeremy Messersmith!

I used to pride myself on not being one of those women at concerts who, when the cute, guitar-wielding lead singer comes on stage, gets all awkward and swoony.  It turned out, however, that I just haven't been to very many concerts, because, last night, I did exactly that thing.*

Jeremy Messersmith's Heart Murmurs release show at the Brighton Music Hall was "legit" concert number two for me (Kate Nash was my first).  Don't feel bad if you haven't heard of Jeremy Messersmith...not many people have.  I don't mean that in a "I'm such a hipster" way, but rather in a "it's really sad that not more people have heard this guy's music" kind of way.  The perk to him not being super well-known is that the venue was extremely not crowded.  So much so that I go to be SO FREAKING CLOSE to the stage!  I could touch it (I didn't, because germs, but I could have).  But since I was so close, I had an excellent view of Jeremy (can I just call him Jeremy? is that okay?) and his band.

This is the best picture my phone has ever taken.
--I guess, if I'm being a real "reviewer" here, I should mention that there was an opening act.  Her name was Tristen.  She was folk-rock-ish.  She had a great voice, and I liked a lot of her songs, though a few felt a little derivative, but they were derivative of things I liked, so it was okay.  There was one called "Into the Sun" that I really liked, but it also made me very sad because it was about old married people dying, and that's generally very sad.  But back to Jeremy Messersmith--

The band was really great.  They all looked like they were auditioning to be Jeremy Messersmith stunt doubles, except for the bassist, who was Mr. Clean bald and about a hand taller than everyone else.  Also, it seemed like they really liked each other and were having a great time making music together.  Musically, the concert was fantastic.  Everything was really tight and spot on and in tune, both vocally and instrumentally.  I was especially impressed by the drummer.  Normally my opinion of percussion is "it's keeps the beat," but this was some amazing and creative drumming.

Here is the set-list (with notes, because I'm a dork who takes notes during shows):
  • "Tourniquet" - Such a strong opening.  It was like,"we're here and we will stop your profuse bleeding!" (because the song is called Tourniquet)
  • "Lazy Bones" - I was really happy that they played a lot of songs from The Reluctant Graveyard as that was the album that I know the best.
  • "It's Only Dancing" - I would purchase Heart Murmurs for this song alone.
  • "Knots" - Another one of my favorites from The Reluctant Graveyard
  • "Dillinger's Eyes" - This one was the most fun to watch.  The four guys onstage just looked like they were enjoying themselves so much and it was great.
  • "Bridges" - I don't remember this one very well.  It's probably because I made eye contact with Jeremy for a millisecond and my brain stopped functioning.  I was so close to the stage, guys.
  • "One Night Stand" - This one was hilarious, and it had a twist at the end that made it even better.
  • "Steve" - I couldn't tell if this song was supposed to be from the point of view of a man or a woman...but I think that was part of the beauty of it.
  • "Tatooine" - This is apparently one of his more popular songs, but I fell asleep during Star Wars and therefore didn't get the reference.
  • I don't know the name of this one--I'm going to say it was called "I don't trust that boy to break your heart" or possibly "et cetera."  But I may have almost cried during it because it was also kind of about old married people dying.
  • "A Girl, a Boy, and a Graveyard" - So before this concert, this song had some Associations (note the capital A).  But now my association is this:  "I heard this live and it was awesome."  Music therapy accomplished!
  • "Organ Donor" - Oh my gosh.  This was the first Jeremy Messersmith song I ever heard, and it is also my favorite Jeremy Messersmith song, because any song that can be that musically interesting and also about embalming deserves to be one's favorite.  I geeked out.  So much.  I will say it was weird without the strings (they whistled instead, which was impressive because I can't whistle well), but the percussion was great.
  • "Hitman" - The climax of this song may have cost me some of my cochlear hair cells, but it was worth it.  Also another stellar drum performance.
  • "Violet" - Audience participation!  We were divided into three groups to sing the bridge of this one.  The group I was in had a fun part, but sadly, it was not in a lady-friendly key (actually, very few of his songs are), so I couldn't belt it out as much as I wanted.
  • "Ghost" - This was a song that I liked in the moment but couldn't for the life of me tell you how it goes right now.  Must listen to it more.
  • "Someday, Someone" - This one was cute, unexpected F-word notwithstanding.
Such a wonderful concert.  I loved it so much.  But here's the best part:  I got to meet Jeremy Messermith afterwards!!  I would not have had the courage to do it had I not run into a friend and his friends who also decided to go meet him, but it was so cool.  I mean, I'm sure that artists are instructed to not be jerks to people in order to maintain good PR, but I think that Jeremy Messersmith was a legitimately nice human being.  He didn't just go through the motions of taking pictures and signing stuff, but he made real conversation with everyone who came to talk to him, even though, statistically, there were probably at least two sociopaths in attendance.  I got to stand next to him and take a picture (which I will not post because the person who took it didn't turn the flash off so it's terribly over-exposed, but it's on Facebook, if we're friends), and I told him about how my roommate and I learned "A Girl, a Boy, and a Graveyard" on the ukulele and he humored me by responding positively to that.**

Even though I've only been to two concerts, this one was probably my favorite, in respect to both the music and the experience.***  So, Jeremy Messersmith, should you be reading this for some crazy reason, thank you so much for coming to my city.  Come in the fall next time.

You can find information about Jeremy Messersmith (music, upcoming tour dates, &c.) at his website:

*But in an appropriate "I recognize that you're married; I just really love your music" kind of way.
**And last night, I lay awake for a good number of minutes thinking about how dumb that probably sounded.  At least I didn't say something really lame like "your [songs] will stand the test of time."
***I still love you, Kate Nash.

1 comment:

  1. You need to go to a legit rock concert. And by legit rock concert I mean Paul McCartney. Even if you don't like him. Because then you would see how awesome a concert with fireworks and cannons and a freaking Beatle can be, and you would never be satisfied with Kate Nash and Jeremy Messersmith. Actually, wait, that would be bad. So don't go to expensive concerts with fireworks.