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Newbie Like a Child
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #1 
Fantastic show last night.  Let me give the long rundown. Only a little bit spoilery in parts.

First, the only negative thing. It seems the people who paid extra to do the meet and greet before the concert never got to do it. I wasn't one of them, but I overheard several of them discussing it as we were all waiting to get inside, and The Social employees just told them they had no control over it at all.  So I don't know what happened with that.

This venue was really awesome. It's very small and intimate. Anywhere you stand or sit, the band is right there. There's a pit in front of the stage and a second level which has a bar. Maybe 25% of the people got a drink, including myself. It was a great feeling to be able to enjoy a drink as all the pre-concert happenings went on. #Freedom was a word that kept running through my head during the night, as the now fully independent Jars and their fans get to experience some new things now.  The bar would actually become a running theme throughout the night.

The Last Bison was great. Good sound, very entertaining. The lead singer kept going on about how thirsty he was and how much water he was drinking. He reminded us that if we were as thirsty as him, we could get refreshed at the bar behind us.

I happened into a spot on the second level, right by Matt's side of the stage, and it turned out to be a hot spot for the night. Dan's stepbrother and his wife or girlfriend, I presume, were standing right behind me, and Dan came over to them before the concert to say hi. I wanted to shake his hand or something but didn't want to interrupt. There was a girl standing right in front of me who was of some importance to the band, though I couldn't make out why. She was shouting to them when they were talking about the new album coming out and the vinyl album. They kept thanking her profusely during the night. Also, I was on the side of the stage that had the entrance/exit, so the guys passed right by me several times.

It was really cool to see the guys setting the stage up themselves. I guess that's because of financial reasons (though they did have a takedown crew), but it was neat nonetheless.

I'm not good at discerning sound quality of venues. It was okay, I guess. Not terrible, not great. But Jars themselves just sounded phenomenal. They've just reached a point where they're absolutely flawless live. My heart rejoiced to hear their adeptness, and I marveled at the amazing artistic integrity of all their songs, new and old, but I also ached because I long so much for them to hook into the mainstream again. Each new album brings me hope that they'll catch fire again like they did with "Flood." My gosh, if this isn't the album that could finally do it. It's just maddening how consistently good their music is and how fantastic they are live, to think how many people out there would adore their music if only they heard, but the world at large doesn't know about them.

I can't underscore enough how amazing it is to see Dan play the drums. Yes, he's tinkered with playing percussion live before, here and there. But now, for this tour, he's the full on drummer, and it's clear how ecstatic, passionate, and in his element he is with his new dual responsibility. I've never seen a lead singer/drummer, and it's really incredible and fascinating. I hope he does this from now on. It's just plain awesome.

In several ways, this concert proved to be kinda special. It was the first night they had the Inland album for sale (only $10!). As Dan kept repeating, the album comes out Tuesday, but "in Orlando it comes out today." Steve pointed out how this was sort of a homecoming for Dan. For those who don't know, he attended high school in Winter Park (just north of Orlando). Dan said he saw the old high school (which is now something different, I think) as they were driving in, and the memories came back, and he thought, "I need to start a band. To get girls." And then he realized, "I already did that." He elaborated on his tweet, that that particular venue had been where he went to see Toad the Wet Sprocket and got THE t-shirt, which is how him and Charlie struck up conversation at Greenville (and also with Stephen the following year, though he didn't mention that).

I loved Steve's chatter about The Shelter. "People are awful. They're terrible. Seriously, have you met them? But they're necessary . . . " Dan reminded us about the bar and kinda encouraged us to get a drink if we were so inclined. He said the bartenders were sweet, and they don't get much service when it's a Jars show. He knew many of their fans did not drink, "and that's fine, but we're not here to judge." Steve then shouted out to the bartenders, "I bet you weren't expecting that! Usually, you get judgement. Shame." This led into "Loneliness & Alcohol."

At one point Matt had "technical possibilities" and flitted to and fro trying to fix it. Dan and Steve fumbled around, trying to come up with something to say to pass the time. Dan finally settled on telling us about how he used to work at Peaches (old record store) on Park Avenue in Winter Park, and the various albums that came out during that time.

It's so cute how shy Matt is. Dan, of course, is the main talker, and Steve, of course, never has trouble blabbing out whatever's on his mind and making everybody laugh. Charlie is reserved and just sits on his bench in the back and never says a word. Matt jumped into a conversation at one point by mumbling something that only Dan could hear, and that was that.

For the song requests during the encore, "Two Hands" and "Worlds Apart" were chosen. The concert ended with Dan doing a drum solo and walking off, followed by Matt Nelson (does anyone else think he looks like he could be Charlie's brother?), followed by Charlie, and then Steve and Matt were left to play it to a finish, which was so beautiful and sweet. And then they all came back for the group bow. During the finale, which was "Frail," my heart swelled with realization of how much I love these guys and their music and how, even though I've never actually met them, I feel like I know them. I just pray they'll keep doing what they're doing, for a long, long time to come.

Dan mentioned several times how impressed he was with the audience and even tweeted about it. He said it was their first proper Orlando show, since all the other ones seemed to be in amusement parks (Night of Joy and Rock the Universe and such). Indeed, I've had many past disappointing Jars concerts in the Central Florida area, so it was nice to experience a real deal concert with real deal fans for once.

To seal the deal, I got to listen to my newly purchased Inland CD on the way home. I've been listening to it on the Billboard site, but last night was the first time I gave it my full attention and that plus the emotional rush from the concert made all the difference. I positively LOVE this album through and through, and I haven't even started to sink my teeth all the way into it yet. I never thought any album could surpass their debut, but this one indeed has the potential to. Any one of the songs has the chops to be played on the radio, and "Fall Asleep" could totally make the rounds on TV shows.

To top it off, when I got home and tweeted, they favorited and replied and followed me. So all in all, a wonderful night. Jars is perfect.

Newbie Like a Child
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #2 
Just read Libby's review. I guess last night was the first night they also had the vinyl on sale at the concert along with the CD, and that's what was significant.
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