Dear Malin Reese,
I went to see Ray Lamontagne in concert last night. Your Mom came along because she’s a good wife and bought me the tickets for Father’s Day. As a rule, our musical tastes do not align. She’s a Top 40 Pop/Pop Country/90’s R&B kind of girl. I’m an Indie Rock/Folk Rock/Classic Rock kind of junkie.Even still, she’s now accompanied me to a handful of concerts purely out of love. At the Def Leppard/Foreigner concert we went to a few years back, I know the most interesting thing about that night for her was the eclectic sea of mullets engulfing the White River Amphitheatre.
Fast forward a couple years later and we went to see Mutemath at The Showbox in Sodo. Indie Rock is even less of her thing than Classic Rock. She coped that night because they had a decent beer tap and we kept a tally of how many males in a female/male relationship were wearing skinnier jeans than their lady friend’s. It was a 2:1 ratio. The point here is that healthy relationships thrive on small sacrifices. Make those small sacrifices simply so you can experience things with the people you love. Even if you don’t love what you’re doing.
Back to the Ray Lamontagne concert. He put on an excellent show. A hallmark of his work is that his songs match his cerebral nature. His live show turned out to be refreshingly different. He swapped acoustic for electric. He replaced his soothing growl with more textured vocal intensity and range. Best of all, he was singularly focused on singing his songs without any bullshit histrionics.(please see every Pop singer of this generation for reference) I guess what made last night special was that I was watching a true singer and not a performer.
The only downside to the night came before one of his songs called “Repo Man”. It’s a peppy song with a cool vibe. Kind of soulful in a bluegrass sort of way. Here’s where it went south. He asked the crowd if they liked to dance. Full disclosure: The crowd was predominantly white people. This is one of the worst questions you can ask a crowd of white people. They respond with such misplaced enthusiasm and then they start dancing. It begins with just a few of them that trickle towards the stage. Then the pack mentality sets in and it becomes a mess of limbs moving in complete disunity. Usually, I’d take great pleasure in watching such a spectacle but when you’re stuck in the middle of it, it’s a horrifying experience. I’m not sure there’s a lesson here other than maybe don’t fall prey to the pack mentality.
I’ll leave you with this: