Ace Enders is one of the elder statesmen of the scene right now. Since starting The Early November ten years ago, Ace has been in three bands, as well as become a spokesman for the downtrodden musician in his multiple interviews about not being able to afford many things in life. In a move that would be expected of the fan centered Enders, he allowed fans to pay-what-you-want for tickets at his latest show, as well as shirts and selling raffle tickets to win the guitar he uses during the specific show. Enders also had a "meet and greet" before the show, where he simply had a casual conversation with his fans. Ace's performance (as well as the rest of the bands) overshadowed the lack of people in the crowd, and the ones who showed received a performance not to be forgotten.
Mansions, the band behind my second favorite album so far this year, opened the show with a set dominated by tracks off Dig Up The Dead. Chris Browder's emotional voice echoed throughout the tiny venue on tracks such as "City Don't Care", "Wormhole", and "Not My Blood". Sadly, Browder did not contain a lot of energy on stage, as he mostly spent all of his energy putting as much passion into his voice as possible. The crowd was most energetic (if you could call six people singing along energetic) during "Talk Talk Talk" the one track off of New Best Friends, as I was the only one singing along for most of the show. Many more people would have appreciated Mansions if they were actually paying attention, since the majority of the crowd was either having a drink or talking no where near the stage. It's sad, because Mansions is a band that deserves much more attention in the scene, and hopefully the band has brighter days ahead.
Into It. Over It. followed up Mansions with a great performance of their own. Though Evan Weiss has a jarringly different style of singing from Chris Browder, his vocals were probably perceived as stronger by the majority of the audience. Giving stories for the majorities of his songs such as "Brenham" and "Raw Bar OBX 2002", Evan gained fans not just by his musical performances, but by the way he got the crowd to empathize with him and his experiences. Though I have had some of his splits for a while now, I never really spent the time listening to them. After this performance, I'm making sure to review his material, and possibly add it to my musical rotation.
Ace Enders then took the stage by himself, the only one of the three "solo acts" without a backing band. However, his instrumentation was easily the most sophisticated, as shakers, percussive guitar beats, electronics, and even vocals were looped into the mix with pedals, creating and atmosphere that few solo acts could do. Ace showed why he's the epitome of DIY, using those loops predominately in tracks off his newest full length Gold Rush, such as "Gold Rush" and "Lame Duck". Fans of any era of Ace were pleased by his setlist, as he performed tracks from every part of his discography, from The Room's Too Cold, to When I Hit The Ground, to The World We Know and Gold Rush. As always, his vocals were spot on as well, combining the accessibility of IIOI with the emotional power of Mansions. Ace definitely lived up to his standards, even without the guidance of an electric crowd. Though the overall feel of the show was boring, the night was all about the music. Three of the best vocalists and lyricists in the scene today gathered together, making this intimate show beautiful.
I Can Make A Mess
Into It. Over It.
I Can Make A Mess