i just got back from the emmet show at trax tonight in charlottesville va. it was great! i think they played for about two hours although i wasn't really watching the clock. the doors opened at 9 and when i got there around 9:45 there were about ten people there. i heard someone come in and say really loudly "isn't emmet swimming playing tonight??" because it was so empty the person thought he must have been wrong. for those of you unfamiliar with va, charlottesville is home to university of virginia and so when emmet plays shows during the school year, the place is pretty packed with students. emmet has a good following here not just because of trax but because they play a lot of fraternity shows and get known that way. but since school's out now there were very few people there. of course more trickled in along the way... maybe there were 100 or so by the time emmet came on, but that's a really rough estimate.
i have to add my story about "lose yourself". around the second song todd said something about how the crowd this time was only us "summer people", meaning the uva summer students. but when he asked who was actually in charlottesville for the summer, only 3 of us or so raised our hands, so i guess a lot of people traveled here from out of town. anyway he said then that they'd be taking requests and keep the setlist pretty loose because of the intimate nature of the show. so everyone was screaming for songs. one girl asked for a song called "lisa says" and erik said "who's asking for that?" and the girl raised her hand. then todd said "that's a really old song. you're digging. how old are you, 39?" that was really funny. anyway they never played it. some other guy asked for "i will" and todd said they'd think about it, "as a former member of the band used to say, we'll ruminate on that." and then he turned to erik and started asking erik if he remembered that quote... but they never did play "i will". i think it was after boston that todd finally heard me screaming "lose yourself! lose yourself!" (i was standing right next to the stage in front of luke) and todd looked at me and said "lose yourself?" and i said "please!!" and he turned to erik and said "are you up for it? you have the hard part. all i have to do is play four chords." so then they decided to play it and derek and luke left the stage, and todd called after them "don't go too far!" and then turned to the crowd and said "they might not come back." and he said to me "you're the only one who knows this song." in a tone of voice that seemed to be saying "so you better appreciate it!" but jokingly. then they played it and it was beautiful!! todd was playing his acoustic guitar (which he played on a bunch of other songs too) and erik was accompanying him on lead guitar and it was just really great. that's one of my favorite emmet songs, if not my favorite (can't quite decide) and i'd never heard it before so i was really happy. :)
keep in mind when i'm quoting todd that i'm kind of loosely quoting him from my bad memory. he said a lot of funny stuff i'm trying to remember for you guys.
after 8:45, this one girl in the front kept asking for sunblock. oh yeah, i should add that when the show started, there were only three people actually standing up. and they were drunk (either that or just really...interesting) and dancing all around all over the place like crazy. i was standing off to the side with a cool emmet fan i met while i was there (chad!) but i was rather afraid to get myself in the path of the dancing people. everyone else in the place was sitting down at tables (which filled almost half the area in front of the stage) and todd said "hey you guys, pull your tables on up here. make it like home." so they did... all these guys just pulled their tables (complete with bottles and pitchers of beer) and chairs up to about five feet from the stage and sat themselves back down. it was pretty funny. but gradually the people on the other side of the club, at the pool or foozball(?) tables, came over too. as the show progressed the crowd got more and more into it. i moved up to right in front of the stage along with a bunch of other people.
anyway, so that one girl who was dancing everywhere was forced to be somewhat subdued when all the guys pulled up the tables. but she kept asking todd to play sunblock, and it was only two songs into the show. todd said "we're going to play that later. why do you want to hear it now? you probably came just to hear that song and if we play it now you'll leave." then at the end of the show right before they played sunblock, todd said "where's that girl who was asking for sunblock?" but it turned out that she had already left. "she left already? she's really going to miss something. because we're all going to take off our pants for this next song." then he paused and said "no, don't worry. we wouldn't do that to you." then they played sunblock. (which i still don't think sounds quite right without the horns section, but it's still good.)
todd a couple times said thanks to ebo and told all of us to buy their stuff. he looked over at the foozball (am i spelling that right?) tables and the ebo guys were standing there with the table on its side... i have no clue what they were doing, but todd said "that's what the ebo guys do in their spare time---try to get the quarters out of foozball machines."
during "hey jesse", luke went off into his bass solo and a couple of people yelled "luke!!!". then todd said "everybody cheer for luke!" and he started saying into the mic "go luke, go luke, go luke, go luke" and getting the crowd to do it. luke started smiling and then he turned away from the crowd and sort of walked to the corner of the stage, still playing, his back to us. derek playfully threw a drumstick at him. everyone kept cheering. eventually it faded from luke into a drum solo and everyone else stopped playing. the three guys were just standing there staring at derek and especially todd had this huge grin on his face. derek just went crazy!!! it was incredible. he must have gone on for about five minutes. the whole drum kit was shaking, actually the whole raised wooden platform the drums were on was shaking, and his mics were moving around and getting out of place... it was just crazy. when he finally paused to go back into the regular drum beat so the other guys could pick back up, he looked so tired i thought he might just completely stop.
(i approve of derek.)
hm, what else. for some reason todd once randomly said in between songs "we're going to play some van halen." and some guy in the crowd yelled "i like emmet swimming better!" and then todd said "van emmet." and he and derek and luke actually started playing some weird non-emmet song and todd started screaming "aie! aie!" like an old school 80s rock singer into the mic and then started singing in this really funny low, monotone kind of voice. i assume he was parodying a van halen song, but i don't know much about van halen so i couldn't say what it was. it was hilarious anyway though. then they stopped and went on with their setlist.
they encored with erik singing so lonely/land down under. it seemed like they didn't even have an encore planned since nothing was listed in the setlist. after they got off stage after sunblock, everyone kept screaming for an encore, and they came back up and todd said "well we talked erik into singing for you tonight." everyone was still screaming for bullet but no luck. (but i got my lose yourself so i'm not complaining... too much :) erik was cool as he always is when he sings. he's got such a unique voice. people were screaming for angel too, but we didn't get that either. anyway, so erik sang his thing. there's a part where he says something and the crowd echoes it back... i'm not sure what it is, is it "it's a lonely low"?? that's what it sounds like to me. anyway so he was singing that and the crowd was singing it back, imitating him. you could tell he was getting a kick out of that and he started turning "low" into two syllables and making the second part go really high pitched... does that make sense? so he got the whole crowd to imitate that over and over and finally he quit and just started laughing and the song kept going. afterwards the band left the stage again and a bunch of us kept standing there screaming for more, but then the lights came on and they started cleaning up the set. i was surprised the encore was so short, but i guess the set was pretty long so that was why.
overall it was a great show. i hadn't seen them since last september or so. i've seen them 7 or 8 times and i woudln't say it was the best show i've seen, probably because the crowd was so small. i've seen todd a lot more intense when he sings, which is what makes a show for me. this show was just more low-key and "let's all have a nice little time together" kind of thing, which was still good. i'm hoping to find a way back to northern va. for the 4th to catch them at the dc 101 show. they seemed pretty excited about that and the release of their cd [earplugs 50 cents]. it seemed like this show was almost a warm-up for that, just because of its small nature. i was surprised that almost everyone was singing along to the songs from big night and arlington to boston. when they did songs from wake, a few people were still singing along, but dwtsf, hardly anyone was.
ok, sorry for the length of this!! hope some of you enjoyed it.