Music is Art, Too…

Man, only for Search the City would I have so many feelings I have to write about a digital concert experience. I’ve loved this band since 11th grade. I’ve carried their songs all the way through graduation and through three and a half years of college, the most recent of which is 10,000 miles away from their base in Michigan. They’re the kind of approachable guys that still work their own Facebook page, and respond to their fans, and make their shit public enough for you to know that just because they’ve got a solid fanbase, and are very talented musicians, they’re still human and prone to drama like the rest of us. I’ve incorporated them into my art and my webdesign on a number of occasions, and picture designs besides. I got my high school group of friends as addicted to The Rescue as me. And today, I skipped my lecture and was with them for an online performance approximately 10,000 miles away from them. Fortunately I’m here, because the internet’s so much faster I’m not sure Minnesota internet would have let me see them.

I guess there’s a few things that have combined in Search the City to keep them as my longest-running favorite band. First of all, falsetto. I figured out I can’t like a male singer without the ability to go into falsetto. No, I don’t want some guy crooning/squeaking for the whole song, but I’m a sucker for a sweeping chorus with some peaking notes. Not shrill, but richly high. Okay, so there’s that. Secondly, poetic lyrics. Songs that are about life. Not just love lost or found.
You will never be prepared for this, there’s no use in being scared…
I’ll take these chances, just like the way you took a chance on me…
I’ve got this half-moon; I’ll save the other half for you…
streetlights carry me home tonight…
And I know you’re sharp, but sharp just doesn’t cut it anymore.
You will be missed; you were always here to get us through times like this…

And also, instrumentals. I will admit to being a little daft about instruments: I’m not attuned to guitar or piano chords or whether something sounds “complex” or not. But I will “sing along” to all the guitar riffs in StC like I do for few other bands. And “singing along” to guitar riffs is usually unpleasant to hear but very nice to do.
Today with drizzly weather alternating with nice midday sunshine, I sat down to my first Search the City concert, 10,000 miles away, with headphones on, in my bedroom in Auckland with a cat on my bed with me. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think the distance injured the experience. Indeed, I think it was better for it — the arrangement, anyway. On the right was a little scrolling chat room for the fans, which meant there was a constant commentary through StC’s set…which meant they were constantly stopping to interact with us. Jim, Travis, and Alex stayed on camera with their guitars (which were heavenly) while Joe and Chris were on the sides reading out funny comments or fiddling with the sound levels. On several occasions, I heard them saying my comments, and of course this could only be in a digital concert because I’d never be that loud live. I got to hear the guy on the left read my greeting from NZ and go “New ZEALAND!” with a level of enthusiasm I won’t soon forget. Then before they sang The Rescue (duh, my all-time favorite song in the history of my life) I wrote “hit those high notes, man!” ’cause man are they BEAUTIFUL and then they read that out loud back in Michigan so I could pretend like I was the reason why Travis sounded so damn good on that song.

Not to mention, the guys were so alive. I loved hearing their new (breath-taking, heavy) demo from someone’s iPod held up to their mic, because I loved watching their eager faces watch their computer screen, to see our scrolling praise in our little fan box, to smile like little boys that love what they’re doing. They’ve got enough to make an outsider to the musical industry/field of musical production understand what drives people to make music to share with people in the first place.

No but really, rolling around on my bed to their new songs and singing badly to their old songs…it was so great. In so many ways. I felt like they gave me sunshine and made me feel completely like myself, alive and on fire.

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