Monday, September 28, 2009
One Day I Stopped Breathing
Dear Sunny Day Real Estate,
Although you've mostly served as soundtracks to past relationships gone bad, tonight I tried my best to see in you in a new light and was successful in doing just that. Tonight's positive experience may have something to do with the fact that my first live SDRE experience in 1997 did not include Nate Mendel, (my bass playing idol as a young teenager in the mid nineties) and tonight did, or simply the fact that I got a solid unbiased chance to check you guys out with the simple company of good friends. Regardless, the anxiety surrounding my original worries of my favorite band as an awkward, dark teenager subsided the instant I heard the first riff of LP2's first track "Friday" kick in.
Your music kept me up at night as a kid, pondering the origin and thought processes you carried out when writing your music, and later I found myself hypnotized by Jeremy's ability to channel a pure emotion through his vocals when nearly speaking in tongues to wail the mysterious words found within the tracks of your second LP. Jeremy's words touched me like no other band could at the time and I felt as if I was experiencing a colorfully gloomy ride through life in some parallel dimension while all the changes in his life were occurring.
I remember meeting the first girl I loved through a radio broadcast of your song "Seven" back in 1995. I remember driving through New Mexico in 1996 on tours of the dessert while listening to LP2 on my headphones. I remember my initial fascination with "How it Feels...", and then things begin to fade. It was hard for me to embrace that third album knowing that Nate had left to play with "his other band" but I gave it a chance and it grew on me. After that I gave up, did my best to live my life, and didn't really look back.
When I heard of the reunion earlier this year, I did everything I could to get a ticket. I wanted to see you guys in NYC because that was the place I sped to in 1997 when I had just received my drivers licence. Tonight was epic. Terminal 5. 56th and 11th. It wasn't only because you played self-released or Sub Pop-era material (essentially Nate-era material sans "Guitar and video games"), it was for "Grendel", "Spade and Parade" (one of my all time favorites), and the new song you introduced us to. The new song felt like the dark hard pop elements of Diary came crashing into the dreamy atmospheric landscapes found within LP2. It was perfect.
Not only were you guys tight and real, but you came together with more energy than the past four shows I've seen you play over the course of the last twelve years. Thank you for being a forerunner in a genre of music I still get into, thank you for being the first band to get me into obsessively collecting vinyl, and thanks in advance for all the new memories. I wrote down all your songs as you played them tonight and intentionally refused to listen to you guys for the past several months to experience tonight as honestly as I could. The words came to me the second you took the stage.
SDRE, "although you hit me hard I'VE come back."
Song about an angel
Guitar and video games
Spade and parade