Author/ Reviewer – Cam Thompson August,3 2014, You could almost mistake it for a high school reunion. There are people you haven’t seen in ages, they look the same, just slightly older and more weathered. The lights are dim and colored strobe lights are bathing the small venue that is Jack Rabbit’s with an envious green tint, almost like a dance floor. People are trickling in slowly at first, nursing their beers and chatting quietly amongst themselves. You could almost mistake it for a high school reunion. What it is in actuality is an acoustic tour from one of the most beloved bands from the early 2000’s, The Early November. This is a band that came up in a time when the scene was exploding with countless pop-punk, emo, pop-rock bands and somehow have managed to evolve beyond just a flavor of the week (see what I did there?) like so many other bands in that era. It is not surprising in the least, however, The Early November were always pushing the boundaries of their genre and took a major risk by releasing a three record concept album very early in their career. It also helps that they happen to be some of the most affable and genuine performers I have ever seen on stage.
The floor space that had been quite roomy earlier in the evening quickly became a sea of devoted fans once Ace Enders (vocalist), Bill Lugg (lead guitar), and Joseph Marro (guitar), took the stage to begin their hour plus set of blistering nostalgia. The three of them began the set with the opening track from their latest album, 2012’s In Currents, “A Stain on the Carpet”. The set then took a turn way back in time to the band’s earlier albums playing fan favorites such as: “Sunday Drive”, “For All of This”, and “Every Nights Another Story”. Ace Enders, although far removed from his high school and late teens, still gives everything he has on these older songs. There was not one point in the night where the crowd was not shouting back every line to every song along with Ace, and there was not one point where Ace did not have the biggest smile on his face. The best part of seeing these guys perform is the amount of relaxed fun they bring to the stage; it really exudes from them and infects the crowd, making for some of the best shows I have ever seen. Enders loves interacting with the crowd and is not afraid to make fun of himself, even during a song that he cannot remember the words to. The set was also sprinkled with songs from Ace Ender’s other projects outside The Early November: I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business and Ace Enders and A Million Different People. Without missing a beat, fans shouted back the lines to these songs as well, demonstrating that the following for this band
extends well beyond the confines of the band itself. The night started to wind down, but not without an impromptu sing along of Semisonic’s “Closing Time”, our three nostalgia heroes closed out the night with crowd favorites “Baby Blue” and “Ever So Sweet”.
The Early November have been playing music together for more than a decade at this point. Their unfortunate hiatus in 2007 was a blow to the scene and to a lot of die hard fans hearts. Fortunately, their time away from each other, and subsequent reunion, rejuvenated the bands sound and reinstilled the passion they had when they were young. It was interesting seeing the diverse mix of the crowd at this show. There was an older demographic here amongst the typical turnout of younger showgoers. People that looked like they grew up alongside The Early November and were here to relive those feelings and moments of youth and teenaged angst. Whatever the reason everyone had for being at the show, it was clear that once Enders, Marro, and Lugg stepped on stage, they were there to pay homage to a band that are coming close to spanning a generation.
1.A Stain On the Carpet
2.I Want to Hear You Sad
6.Tell Me Why
7.The Best Happiness Money Can Buy
9.The Mountain Range in My Living Room
10.Frayed In Doubt
11.Figure It Out
14.1000 Times a Day
15.Body Like Mind
16.Every Nights Another Story
17.Closing Time (cover)
18.Dinner at the Money Table
20.Ever So Sweet