Real Estate began their set at The Market Hotel having already played more than 20 dates on their national tour, which started in early November. Cloud Nothings, the project of 18-year-old Dylan from Cleveland, played its first show ever. This is what concerts are all about. You don’t just go for the band you know you love, you go for the possibility of something more, something surprising or unseen/heard before.
While I only saw the last three Cloud Nothings’ songs, each one was tight and bouncy– pure pop. The band was young and inspired and you could tell by watching their faces that they could hardly believe the situation they were in, opening for two of the biggest acts on the lo-fi indie scene: Real Estate and Woods. With coy smiles and genuine thankful remarks, Cloud Nothings left the stage. They were surely jazzed.
Real Estate is a band, if you’ve been reading this blog for the past few months, that I have fallen increasingly in love with. If it’s not their extended rock jams and weed-fueled haziness, it’s their utter lack of pretension that makes Real Estate so affecting. It’s almost like they make this music to survive, without it they wouldn’t be able to smile or make friends. Now, i’m sure that’s not true, but watching the foursome play together is a delight because they lean on each other, thus balancing out the sound, as if they were a crew building a cabin. Even though Martin Courtney is the main songwriter and “leader” of this band, you can tell everyone in the band has a say. There is no grandstanding.
And the music! The songs are so masterfully crafted that when sounds are made, when Alex Bleeker rides the bass along a steady clip only to change the rhythm of the beat at precisely the right moment, for example, you almost feel like its nature bringing the sun out to shine on your face. Yes, the affect is that elemental.
The set consisted of mainly songs off the debut self-titled EP the band just put out on Woodsist last month. Matt Mondanile, rhythm guitarist and back-up singer, also took lead vocals on a song, which added an element to the set that I was unprepared for. For a band that already has so much variety in its sound, this was a welcome change.
As I do with all bands I care deeply about, I stood center stage right in front. But that also meant I had to deal with the teeming mob of teeny-boppers. This was a Todd P show- and was thus all ages. I’m all about that. Sometimes I can’t handle it, I feel too old, but when the band playing is as good as Real Estate, I can accept the small bothers. I can accept when the kids are overly enthusiastic and too young to understand irony, and I can even accept when they spill beer and push their greasy bodies up against me. And that is saying A LOT.
Check out my pictures in the slideshow below.
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