Friday, April 20, 2012

Graffiti6/ Eric Hutchinson Concert Review


So, last night I went to the Graffiti6 and Eric Hutchinson concert at Wooly's, in downtown Des Moines.

It was awesome!!!!! I usually geek out a little after I go to concerts, but I am freaking out even more today. Incredible!

So, the doors opened at 6:00, and my friends and I got there around 6:10--we were a little late because my sister was eating a sandwich, in case someone out there cares about those little details that do nothing to enhance stories--and we got right in. The venue, Wooly's is quite a bit smaller than People's Court and Vaudeville Mews, where I saw Panic! At the Disco/Patrick Stump/Grouplove/Young the Giant and MuteMath, respectively. And so even though maybe a little over a hundred people attended the concert, it looked like it was a full house. My friends and I squeezed our way up to about the 5th row where we stood for Graffiti6.

I expected Graffiti6 to be terrible. I had listened to a few of their tracks and kind of though "this is nothing special." Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. They were epic. I have a feeling they're one of those bands that take a little bit to grow on you and sound even better live. It's true; I went back and listened to their music again and I loved it. That's talent, right there, if you ask me.  Graffiti 6 is talented and I love the bluesy-pop sound; it's a mix of Gnarles Barkely meets The Civil Wars meets Arcade Fire meets Alex Clare. Testimonial time:  even my friends, who hate anything that's not mainstream loved him last night. Success!

My favorite songs that he played were: "Annie You Save Me," "Stone In My Heart," and "Stare Into the Sun." If you've heard of them before, you probably heard "Free," which is a good song, just not their best. But, they are great musicians, nonetheless and you need to buy their music and go see them live...they have a separate tour coming up soon. One of the coolest moments of the night was when they started people were still talking but two songs into the set, everyone shut up and listened to them. People were swaying, clapping, screaming, and singing instead of talking. So cool. I love the power of music.

Then, we had a thirty minute break between Graffiti6 and Eric, and Wooly's. the venue,  played Fun. to pass the time. I love Some Nights, their new album, as evidenced by my ridiculously affectionate ) review that I did a while back. My friends and I, the dorks that we are, sang and danced around to "Carry On," "It Gets Better," and the now mainstream-which-means-all-hipsters-cringe-when-it-comes-on "We Are Young." I think we scared some people. Oh, well. If you can't relax, then don't come. Just sayin'.

After our mini break, Eric came on.  He had a big single a few years ago, "Rock and Roll." Unless you were living under a rock or you didn't own a radio/iPod, you probably heard it. It was everywhere and I mean that in a good way, believe me. (Or, You Don't Have To Believe Me...I guess.) But, he has a new album, "Moving Up, Living Down," that just came out on Tuesday. It is awesome. Ugh, such an overused word, especially in my blog posts, but I think that if you looked up "Awesome" in the dictionary you'd find a picture of Eric Hutchinson. So, he played some songs from his old album "Sounds Like This," a musical masterpiece, and some songs from "Moving Up, Living Down," also right up with SLT.

My friends and I began the night somewhere around the fifth row but during Eric's set, about 1/4-1/2 of the way through, this very nice man in front of us literally pushed the four of us (my three friends and me) into the third row. We were so close we could see the sweat flying off of Eric and see his equally sweaty back, caused by the lights and his super smooth dance moves. Gross details, I know, but I have NEVER been that close at a concert before. In case that man happens to be reading this, a long shot, THANK YOU SO MUCH! We really appreciated it, considering we are all, save for one of my friends, under 5'4.

Eric was so entertaining to watch because he looked like he was having just as much fun as the audience was. I've been to several concerts now and there's some performers who are like feeling the music so much that they look pained, almost (which is MuteMath. I love them, and appreciate their musicianship and the care and detail that goes into their music, but sometimes Paul, the lead singer, looks like he's going to pop a blood vessel. I love them though, so don't assume I'm putting them down). Then there's groups who just kind of seem to like playing music but kind of just want the show to be over with (Young the Giant/ Owl City. Again, I'm not "hating," as those stupid teenage boys who sit behind me at lunch say nearly every single day, but I just see the difference between the bands) And finally, there's bands like Panic! At the Disco who are, um, too comfortable with the crowd, spilling all their secrets. Eric was just right. He had some witty banter with the crowd and then shut up and played his music. Refreshing, very refreshing. I would see him again, so he has to come back to Iowa. :)

Best parts: "Rock and Roll," {It's a classic}, the song he sang to the 12 guys in the back + Melissa and Samantha, "Watching You Watch Him," and "Not There Yet." Ahhhhh, he was soooooooo good! I know, I sound like your stereotypical, crazy teenager, but hey, it's the truth. I really wanted to meet him/get him to sign a tee-shirt or something, but they said anyone under 21 had to leave, so we shimmied our way out into the cold and waited for our ride. Between acts, some lady in the crowd was handing out Graffiti6 stickers and I got one; it's looking pretty darn cool on my calculator case now.

In conclusion, Graffiti6 caught me by surprise; they were much more talented than I expected and I am now a huge fan. Eric was fantastic, like I thought he would be ,and his personality made for a memorable evening. Best part: I turned all of my friends into huge Graffiti6/Eric Hutchinson fans.

Here are some videos for you to enjoy.
Eric: Not There Yet
Graffiti6: Stare Into the Sun
Eric: Watching You Watch Him
Graffiti 6: Annie You Save Me

Until next week,

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