Hey Rosetta! and Dinosaur Bones // Adelaide Hall // 22. 08. 13
On August 22, Dinosaur Bones and Hey Rosetta! played at Adelaide Hall, a recently opened venue sporting four floors, including the beautiful patio roof complete with ping pong table and bean bag toss (getting some pointers from the kids at Edgefest, are we?).
My first thought when I walked to the edge of the balcony that overlooks the stage at Adelaide Hall, was that I knew the vocalist in the band that was playing. It’s hard to forget those Julian Casablancas-esque vocals. There was a stage covered in old, worn rugs beneath a mess of wires and instruments, and of course, musicians. The incredible group dynamic of Dinosaur Bones and their varied melodies proved a highly entertaining performance from the balcony. I hadn’t seen Dinosaur Bones since my adventure at Edgefest, and if they intrigued me there, I’m well and truly hooked now.
Opening for Hey Rosetta!, the band was completely in-sync, giving yet another flawless performance, although the crowd, most of which had come to see Hey Rosetta!, did not respond in as positive a way as they did when Hey Rosetta! entered the stage at 10pm. The response wasn’t negative, just no where near as enthusiastic.
To a sold out crowd, Hey Rosetta! entered the stage. Their richly hewn, multi-faceted songs enrapturing the crowd. Songs that were cut by melancholic violin solos were equally brought to fervent euphoria in others.
The six-piece orchestral band greeted the crowd, who glorified them in response. From above and behind the stage, I could watch the crowd easier than watch the performers, and it was just as entertaining. For some, the experience would be documented and witnessed later, for others it was pure ecstasy, and for still others, the experience seemed as though spiritually transcendental.
Sunk in a pit below me, with the soft smoke machine every once and a while puffing out from over the heads of the musicians, simulating the cigarette smoke of a club 20 years ago, the impact of Adelaide Hall was incredibly effective, and added to the electrifying performance by Tim Baker. The music? It can only be described as absolutely happy.
It’s evident when watching Hey Rosetta!, the intimate and intense connection people achieve through the music, and the concert was a constant reminder of that fact. A group of friends in the back swayed in time, their arms over each others shoulders, and every smiling face turned up to catch the lights as they swung down, singing every word along with the band.
Then, there’s a split silence in the break at the end of a song that, like a vacuum, fills with the energy of a room. The room takes a breath, there’s a beat, and then there’s the applause, the cheers, the hollering. The only feeling that can adequately fill such a space is pure and beautiful joy. Watching the crowd alone, I felt a certain happiness I don’t often feel when watching the musicians. The innocence of it all brings you back to the core of what music is about, and why musicians play. That look and that look alone has bolstered musicians who, perhaps, stand tiptoe on the brink. That look of expectation and childlike naivete is enough to bring you back from sadness and despair.
By the time the crowds had cleared, and the band members had finished their bouts of ping pong on the roof, I had befriended band members and a publicist alike. The once bustling room was barren, all evidence of the presence of anyone had vanished completely. At some point between the last song and the last ping pong ball flying off the roof, the employees had cleared every last trace of beer cans and bottles from the floor. The stage was bare and the room itself was jarringly silent. A broken frisbee entertained me, Ben, and Dave for a while as other band members loaded instruments and equipment into the van, which sat in an alley while a man rooted through a dumpster behind it. Like a roadie or a “bandaid,” I followed the guys into the van where a discussion started about the crowd for the evening.
Some members complained that the crowd was quieter for Dinosaur Bones than for Hey Rosetta!. As an outsider, I mentioned that there are often certain psyches that a crowd brings to a concert, whether or not they know the music. Sometimes some people are just enraptured by the whole experience, of witnessing a group of musicians doing something amazing. Sometimes they wish to stand and stare in order to not miss a single moment from the night. But then it’s different when you’re a musician, too, isn’t it? A musician plays night after night, whereas I only need to see one show to write about it. If I were playing five nights back-to-back, there’s a certain give and take, a feeding off of energies, that musicians crave to keep them up, and I understand that. Yet regardless of the crowd, the band makes music, their passion is music, and music they’ll continue to create, and it’s enough so that though one crowd may bring down the spirit of the night, there’s comfort in knowing that tomorrow there will be another.