Elvis Depressedly (photo: Marissa Carpenter)
I won’t deny I was bummed when I heard that Nicole Dollanganger had dropped off the Elvis Depressedly and Teen Suicide tour, but I respected her decision. Usually I am struck by how much energy musicians, especially touring musicians, are expected to have day after day of not sleeping in their own bed. I love my bed. I get grumpy, sick, upset, after just one night of sleeping elsewhere. So hearing that Dollanganger had dropped off the tour due to health reasons actually seemed brave to me. I hope she has a swift recovery. In her own bed.
Though when I heard that the local band taking her place was High and Fragile, I was ecstatic. You won’t find anything about High and Fragile online yet, but let’s just say that they are a local band that will soon be impossible to miss.(photo: Marissa Carpenter)
OK. Now let’s step back a bit to when I actually stepped into Swedish American Hall. I felt old. Most of the people in the venue seemed to be in their teens, but they were the nicest teens ever. Just as I was beginning to feel lost and out of place and way anxious for someone who goes to shows three or more times a week, I was rushed with compliments from little strangers with brightly-dyed hair and looks I’d always wish I could accomplish. I wanted to be all those teens’ best friend, I wanted to be their role model, I wanted to be who they looked up to, and I wanted to be who gave them advice. I didn’t get the chance, because I ended up just going to my favorite throne in Swedish and only leaving three times: 1. To compliment Breannyn Delongis of High and Fragile. 2. To go to the restroom. 3. To leave.
(photo: Marissa Carpenter)
I was expecting a lot from High and Fragile because I knew they were motivated to really work on their music thanks to Kristina Esfandiari (the inspiring lady behind Miserable and King Woman). I was also excited because they were the only band that was local and the main project of a femme. They haven’t played live much, and this show was the first time with a full band, but it didn’t feel like that. I could definitely feel the nerves while Delongis tuned, but when she began to play I was bowled over (back into my throne). Honestly, for a first full band live set, I was caught off-guard in a way that really gets me excited for the future of High and Fragile.(photo: Marissa Carpenter)
The teens only began to get sweeter as the show went on, complimenting everyone they could see. You could tell that this show was important to them. You could tell that they stepped away from their memes about depression and their beautifully cynical Twitter accounts to actually see bands that have helped them all through some of the worst moments of their lives. Teens are so important. Respect the teens.
Teen Suicide (soon to change their name because they can see the negative connotations behind it) makes music that has a different identity live versus listening to it alone in your room, on your bed, moping with no pants on. Live, it’s stronger, more aware of its surroundings, and so well structured. It’s lively, louder, and the fact that the members of the band actually stopped to make sure no one was going too crazy in the crowd was honorable. Yeah, moshing can be fun when you’re all aware of the people around you and actually acknowledging that moshing can be invasive and dangerous. I’ve been in stuck in crazy mosh pits before that I did not agree to, one time even getting peed on (I KNOW!). Mosh with awareness, everyone, or don’t mosh at all.(photo: Marissa Carpenter)
Elvis Depressedly brought the end home sweetly, Singing classics and newer songs, one being my favorite. “NMSS” (No More Sad Songs). It felt like the music hugged all our excess feelings and made them feel welcome. I’ve seen Elvis Depressedly live before, one time with Alex G (who helped out on the new Frank Ocean album) and missing them last time they headlined, and had both Mitski (who is unstoppable) and Eskimeaux opening. So anytime they come to town, I know that their openers are also going to amazing and musicians I will later obsess over.
I sang loudly along from beside my throne and my friends, screaming out the one lyric that hits me the hardest in “NMSS,” I love everyone that I have ever known. I left feeling that even more.
(photo: Marissa Carpenter)