Tuesday, February 16, 2016

You Let Your Hopes and Dreams Make You Go Insane

I spent the night before Valentine's Day at a Hunter Valentine show at NYC's Bowery Ballroom. As frigid as the night was, going was a great idea!

Two months back, I decided that I should go see a band over Valentine's weekend rather than sitting at home, and when I realized that HV was playing on the 13th, well... who better to see on Valentine's Eve? I'd heard of the band several years back and had heard some music online, and I figured I'd splurge for the meet-and-greet ticket. I had no idea just how cold Saturday night was going to be when I ordered the ticket...

I headed into the City anyway, and I'm glad I did. After partaking of happy hour at the bar by downing a pair of Brooklyn Winter Ales, and stopping at the merch table to pick up a shirt and chat with the lovely young woman running it, I headed up to the front of the stage, where a group of friends, some of whom had driven up from Pennsylvania for the show, determined that I might be fun and asked me to join them in a selfie. (Apparently, my CBGB shirt was quite popular that night.) One of them, a young woman whose real name was not Veronika, proceeded to smack everyone on the ass good-naturedly, and I wasn't left out. Of course I replied in kind. Heh-heh.

The Frail (who are now known as Vacances, but were performing that night as the Frail) opened the show and put on a great set, and Hunter Valentine put on an amazing set! Everything sounded great, and I'm especially digging the new single, "Hurricane." Kiyomi's an awesome and energetic frontwoman (and being up front, I got to help her off and back on the stage when she surfed the crowd twice). Lisa just rocks, with and without her guitars. Leanne had an infectious smile on her face throughout almost the entire show, and you knew she was enjoying herself. (They brought a former bass player, Adrienne Lloyd, on stage to join them for a song with her Rickenbacker, too.) And Laura can pound those drums and sing her great Canadian love song... and drink champagne. :-D They're on their "So Long for Now" tour, because the band is going on an indefinite hiatus, but I'm really hoping they get back to making music again before too long. I'd definitely see these rockers again.

Kiyomi, Lisa, Leanne, and Laura

The meet-and-greet took place after the show, and while they must have been exhausted, the ladies were most gracious and down-to-earth. I got my chance to meet with them briefly, at which point it was after midnight and technically Valentine's Day, and it was pretty cool to hear, "Oh, yeah, you were right up front! I saw you!" Lisa and I talked about CBGB a bit, and Sick of Sarah's Jessica Forsythe took my picture (well, took practically everyone's picture) with the band before I got my CD copy of the new EP, The Pledge, autographed.

Hunter Valentine and me

The uptown F train didn't show up for nearly 30 minutes, I had to run to and from the PATH train while gasping in lungfuls of frozen air and came thisclose to missing the last train back to Lyndhurst from Hoboken anyway, and I'm still surprised my ears weren't frostbitten by the time I got home around 2 AM, but it was well worth it. What a fun night!

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