Going to the Mill and Mine is always a journey, and this time was no different.
The opening act, Little Scream, came to the Mill and Mine ready to play with a power-packed set in tow. Revolving around themes of disenfranchisement, revolt, and reconciliation, Laurel Sprengelmeyer wasted little time making her opinions heard. Her recently released song “People” was the crux of their show, with all proceeds benefiting the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. However, the version performed was not the MP3 available online. Little Scream ad libbed a new bridge before the last chorus, eliminating any ambiguity about to whom this song was written. Over the wail of her Gibson SG, Little Scream grabbed the microphone, looked directly at the crowd, and sang:
“You may be the president
You may have Trump Towers,
but we have the music.
We have the power”
Little Scream not only took a direct shot to our commander in chief, but issued a solemn reminder that money is merely a means to an end, and not the end in itself.
After a brief intermission, Local Natives took the stage. For the first three songs, my trusty press pass allowed me unfettered access to the front row behind a bulwark between the crowd and the stage. My mom always said I was important, but for once in my life, I felt like a VIP. She also said I had the voice for radio; my dad said I have the face for it. I guess they’re both right.
From their newest album Sunlit Youth the band performed a couple of my personal favorites, with corresponding ambiance to boot. Perfectly synchronized lights of ever-shifting opalescent hues teleported me from the beer-soaked floor of the Mill and Mine to a veritable Atlantis under the sea. Had I not known better, I would have sworn I could see actual jellyfish as they performed the song of the same name. I think I held my breath for a bit.
Arguably, the highlight of the performance was “Villains.” In all my forays to the venue, never once have I seen an artist get into the crowd. Yet with the finesse of a Russian gymnast, lead singer Taylor Rice handedly bounded over the barricade, right in front of me, and joined the audience. I’m surprised he didn’t surf the crowd, but maybe that’s too cliché. If Moses had twice the difficulty parting the Red Sea as Rice had parting the floor of the venue, it’s no surprise the Israelites escaped.
Over all, the concert was a success. It seemed everyone was happy: the fans, the band, and even this critic. My only caveat was in their performance of “Fountain of Youth.” On the track, there’s a split-second pause in the introduction (which I always attributed to an error on my CD). I had hoped the band would sing the introduction, but alas it was prerecorded. Life goes on and touring isn’t easy. I get that. But to my astonishment, the pause was still there! I’d say “at least I’m not crazy,” but I’m not convinced being right once is enough to prove my sanity. If this has bothered anyone else, don’t worry, you might be crazy too, but at least we now know the pause is there on purpose.
Did I mention their parents were in the audience? If that isn’t a heartwarming anecdote about the power of family, I don’t know what is. There might be some truth to the phrase, “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” but either way, I should call my parents more.
(Lighting up the Feet)
Article written by Zane Joyeuse