After the way Gonch Messiah polished off Friday night, I knew Saturday would be insane.
The room filled quicker; the familiar faces were everywhere; it was insane.
The evening started with Mark & John (from The Get Down) playing a wonderful set that too many people didn’t see. This is why you come early to shows people.
Next up, JP & The Black Sheep got the room spinning with a high energy set.
Filling the middle slot for the evening was I’m Not Frank. At this point, I officially lost count how many bands Jon Fredriksen and Hamish Thomson play in together.
As Upper Levels took the stage, you could feel the room buzz. I’d spoken with all of them earlier and they were nervous. Nervous that they should have rehearsed more. Nervous that they just couldn’t cut it any more. Nervous. My response? “Fuck you. You’re Upper Levels.”
Ian Fergusen, sound man from The Sandy Cove introduced them. And then it started, the audio mindfuck that was, is, and always will be Upper Levels… all cranked to 11, of course. I snapped some hurried pics of the first bar of the first song because I wasn’t going to spend this set snapping pics. No sir. The time machine had cranked up to full power. Stephen Hawking says you can’t go back. I’m sorry sir, but you’re wrong. Almost two decades disappeared in an instant. Gone. Washed away by music that hasn’t aged a day. They just opened the bottle and it poured out from where they had left it.
Hamish Thomson has never made a bad decision about music. Until now. Whatever possessed him to ask a reeling, long-winded drunk to introduce them is beyond me. However, I was flattered by the request and graciously accepted.
In my introduction, I said that even with all the years I’d known them and all the years I’d been writing, I was still at a loss to describe Big Tall Garden. I still am.
They simply are the best. Even that isn’t good enough for them.