This was my first show at The Paperhouse, and it’s definitely going to be a hard one to top. Dozens of sweaty kids piled into that tiny basement that reeked of smoke and maybe some other not-so-great decisions, but everyone was smiling. Literally. Everyone.
Unfortunately I missed the majority of Snake Posse’s set, and spent their last three songs trying to push my way to the front of the crowd. From what I heard, the little bit of attention I was paying them, they sounded good; I really liked “Baby Cryin'”. For sure a band to keep eyes and ears peeled for, I’d like to see them do a full set someday.
After parting the sea of a crowd “religion style” in order for the transition of band members and instruments to go smoother, it was Why Not’s turn on stage. By this time I had secured a spot beneath one of the hanging speakers in order to be able to shoot. The first time I reviewed Early Eyes on here, I had written “YOUNGINS” in my notes, but I have now seen just how incorrect I was. Why Not is made up of true youngins, all still in high school, and I have to say they’re much cooler than any bands I knew from my own high school years.
The crowd was really into Why Not and about halfway through their set, during “Guided Meditation,” a mosh pit burst out so violently, that the first two-ish rows of people came tumbling onto the stage in a big ol’ heap. After a slight pause to pick each other up and a few cautionary notes about being respectful of other people while in the crowd so that nobody gets hurt, the show was back on.
They had the crowd singing along eagerly to the last song; “All of my time in your arms it feels good!” Why Not’s sound reminded me a bit of a local band I knew from my year in FL, Recurrent, but happier and dancier (now that I’m listening to both of them, I don’t really understand my comparison of the two at all really, but whatever). The band left the stage with a “Thank you SO MUCH! SO MUCH!” and on came the next.
Early Eyes was up after, and even though I loved everything about this show, they were definitely the highlight of my night. They came out strong with some crowd favorites, but when Jake said “we’re gonna do a cover for ya. Do you like The Cure?”, and proceeded with a version of “Close To Me,” I was sold. Early Eyes has my heart now, and they can keep it. :’)
Sometimes I don’t like having the responsibility of taking photos and notes at shows, but then sometimes being up in the front or on the sidelines at shows you notice and hear little bits and pieces from the band playing that most people don’t. There were a lot of those during this show, including an under-the-breathe, “shut up. G-d damn,” inadvertently directed to some fans that were talking over the band while they were trying to make an announcement; I just thought it was funny.
They invited some girls on stage, conducted a basement-wide rendition of “Happy Birthday,” and had someone in the front row holding Henry’s mic up during the remainder of the set. Early Eyes closed with the riot rousing little track, “Vape Juice.” The whole room was bouncing, but I’m not going to lie, I was still happily thinking about The Cure cover.
THE HAPPY CHILDREN! Now they’re quite the trip and it was obvious that the vast majority of the crowd was there to see them. By the middle of their second song, “Honest Boy,” a new group of people had made their way to the front. Unlike the other bands, The Happy Children didn’t make any sort of mention in regards to moshing and dancing, and seemed to encourage it which was so fun!
The basement somehow became even more packed than it was, and for as little head space as there was, I was gladly surprised at how hard everyone in the audience was going. The Happy Children had the entire house chanting during “Sentimental” which hands down is my favorite of their songs. During the bridge, the guys kind of calm down on stage and seem to become real conscious of the environment, all while the sound builds bigger and bigger, and there’s just something about that that I really love.
The Happy Children ended the night with “Hail Mexico” during which a girl fell from the audience onto Caleb’s pedals and messed something up. After some stalling, they were back in business, and even from my spot holed up next to the stage, I feel confident saying that not a single person was standing still.
Thank you to everyone for being so kind and fun and for sharing your art and making that space so great; I’m so thankful to be lucky enough to share this with you all. 🙂