At 32 I often feel as if adventures are fleeting. I’m too old to stay out late, I’m too tied down with important obligations. I’m stretched too thin even if by my own doing, but when my two favorite bands (I’m not exaggerating) announced a tour together, I knew I had to make it to a show because I might never get that opportunity again.
So last Tuesday morning amid last minute Christmas shopping, present wrapping, Christmas party planning, and raptor program prepping, three of us took off for Philadelphia to see You Won’t and The Suitcase Junket. The show was in Fish Town at this sweet little place called Johnny Brenda’s. I’ve never been to such a small venue that felt so big. I attribute it to the two-story stage area with overlooking balcony.
The show was EVERYTHING we had hoped for. If you haven’t heard The Suitcase Junket, you need to Make Time to check him out. Matt Lorenz is The Suitcase Junket— the “internationally touring, slide-guitar playing, throat singing, one-man-band”. I promise you, you’ve never heard a one-man-band like this one. Lorenz commands a room with his dirty soulful sound and profound lyrics. He’ll have you rocking out with a grungy forceful number (Eileen) then turn right around and and make you cry as he finger picks a sad tale of love and loss (Twisted Fate). As soon as you hear the first bars of his set (New Old Friend/Earth Apple), you immediately know that this guy means business. The Suitcase Junket is the real deal folks.
As if catching The Suitcase Junket wasn’t enough, I finally got to see another one of my favorite bands live for the first time, too. I’ve been listening to You Won’t for a few years now and have waited not so patiently for them to drop a new album since discovering their first one. Josh Arnoudse, with his hypnotizing guitar riffs and powerful lyrics, and Raky Sastri, with his ever-expanding collection of unique percussion instruments and sounds, make up a duo with a force unlike any other.
Every single track on their debut album Skeptic Goodbye was amazing. Each line was like a romanticized narration of my angst-filled high school years, trying to figure out where I fit in, navigating the rocky relationships that are teenage lust, and pretending I was this complex being with real problems.
Their new album Revolutionaries does not disappoint. I was doubtful that I could like an album as much as Skeptic Goodbye, but honestly Revolutionaries is just as great if not better. It sings of the demise of youth (oh eerie Invocation & Jesus Sings), beckons sadness with where we commonly end up (1-4-5), and at points makes us feel downright uncomfortable in our skin because of who we become (Douchey), but if you can endure it– swallow your pride knowing the truth in the words– you can appreciate how dead on these two are with their observations of the human psyche and situation.
But why you ask would you want to buy an album that makes you sad and uncomfortable because of the truth it speaks? Simple. You Won’t sneaks these powerful lyrics into songs full of sweet riffs and uncannily upbeat chord progressions. During live performances they top it with a ridiculous stage presence filled with crazy percussion, devious grins, and swinging hoses.
Simply put: You Won’t has the ability to make you happy about all of the realities that make you sad, and they do it so proficiently that before you realize it you’re dancing while singing their anthems at the top of your lungs.
The show in Philadelphia was so much fun that we decided to stop at Black Cat in D.C. on the way home and catch the second show of the tour. While I’m still paying for it a week later (refer again to line one of this post), I don’t regret taking the time to catch these shows. You only live once, and sometimes I think we all need to take a moment to remember that. Now get out there and do something unforgettable. You Won’t regret it!