One of my very favorite things is listening to live music. I love the quiet rush that comes before an artist starts singing. I like that feeling of camaraderie between members of a crowd. I have a love/hate relationship with musicians’ banter. Everything about live music is just joyous to me.
When I went to college, I thought I was going to find myself at so many shows. Every weekend I was going to be hanging out at the venue down the street. Concerts were such a huge part of my middle and high school life that it was only natural to think the trend would continue. By the time I had graduated I had seen about over 20 shows, mostly of the pop rock variety. Fast forward to college life, I’ve only been to 5 or 6. So, when my sister frantically texted me, “PLEASE TELL ME YOU’RE FREE TONIGHT” and I called her and found out she needed to see a show for class, I was ecstatic. Spontaneous concerts are right up my alley, and we had four options (don’t let anyone tell you Columbus is a boring town, there’s always something going on). Somehow, we stumbled upon the gem of them all and ended up in a small bar with about 100 people jammed up real tight, waiting for the act of the night: Noah Gundersen and his equally talented siblings, Abby and Johnny.
Gundersen’s music is raw and honest. He fits the mold of a modern-day Bob Dylan, all raspy and sincere. When the music started and the crowd shushed and Gundersen sang his first note, my friend who came along for the ride whispered something like “I think my heart just melted”. The heart-melting music tells a story, with thoughtful lyrics and the perfect mix of acoustic guitar and fiddle. As always, I’ll let the music be the real stand-out of this post. But, by the end of the set, the whole audience was entranced. So much so that the only the only real words I heard uttered after the show were, “Wow…that was good”. A loss of adjectives is always a great testimonial in my book.
The family band opened with the song “Poor Man’s Son”. Great harmonies and a real attention-grabber. From the first note, the place went quiet, and the respect and awe didn’t let up until the end.
“Caroline” was a real crowd favorite, maybe because of the happy melody and foot-stomping beat. It’s been two days and I cannot get this song out of my head; it reminds me of a Lumineers track.
And, one of my favorites of Gundersen’s “Cigarettes”.