Pinegrove, Florist, and Lomelda is a lineup descended from the ever-loving cranes above Dallas. And out of all the amazing concerts scheduled on the night of September 30, none could have been more emotional in a comforting and fun way.
Lomelda, a Texas native and Radio UTD Local Music Concert alum, opened the night with a two-piece setup promoting her latest release, Thx. Her electric guitar filled the room as she stood at the mic, her voice traveling smoothly from note to note while gazing out from under the brim of her white baseball cap. The simple percussion setup with a drum pad, bass drum, and giant cymbal completed the ensemble that represents Lomelda’s sound: big emotions with an uncomplicated approach.
Florist filled the stage next with their three members and piles of instruments. Emily, the lead singer in the band, opened by praising Chance the Rapper then saying, “I wrote this song for my mom and she died the next day. Thank you to Chance the Rapper.” It set the mood for their set, which alternated between heartfelt songs and goofy asides. The band from the Catskills in New York replicated the airy feel of their newest album, If Blue Could Be Happiness, by leaving Emily on vocals and acoustic guitar while the other two members switched between drums, keys, bass, and electric guitar played in a variety of ways.
It’s not hard to listen to Florist’s music and feel peace if not some form of happiness. For most of the concertgoers near the stage, the experience was calming and reassuring. However, the back of the room echoed with chatter that only seemed to grow in volume with Florist. Even after a pointed comment from Emily, the talking didn’t quiet down until Pinegrove took the stage.
From the oddly long gap of time between Florist and Pinegrove’s sets, I could tell something wasn’t quite right. Then Evan, the lead singer of Pinegrove, got up on stage with the rest of his band and filled us in. He was sick with a fever and, in his own words, “my head feels like a terrarium.” Still, they were determined to do this show. Evan strapped on a guitar, Hannah from Lomelda picked up a bass, and everyone got right into it, starting off with a song from their album Cardinal. The sold out crowd put their voices to use singing along to the familiar songs with Evan. The numerous tall people in the crowd synced up their nodding and side-to-side shoulder movement and a girl in the front row waved the arms of her stuffed sloth in time.
After the overwhelming crowd participation in the first few songs, Evan figured out how to relieve himself of some of the stress of being sick on stage. He encouraged everyone to sing louder and vowed to only play songs from Cardinal so that he wouldn’t have to sing every word in this feverish state. The plan made for a fun, communal feeling in the room, to the point where we all shrugged when they messed up the start of a verse in “Old Friends” and supported the band when they announced they had to cut the show short because of the illness. They ended on an optimistic, forward looking song, “New Friends,” then dashed off the stage and through the exit onto the street and into the car, presumably to get Evan some medical attention or at the very least chicken soup.
Maybe it was just all the radio folk who I saw at the show, but I felt a real connection to the people of the room. A connection formed by the experience of a few people like us opening their lives and their hearts to us on stage through song. Through thick and thin, we rode the wave from mellow electric to soothing atmospheric to raw guitar together.