While I was excited about seeing both these guys, I was also a little ambivalent. All ages shows scare me. You never know what you'll get. The first time I saw Johnny Flynn live I stood beside two girls that were so young they had bows in their hair. I heard them talking about Robert Pattinson and I cringed inside. Hey, I like him too! Cute as a button that one is but I don't go to see bands play because he once farted near them or had tea around the corner on a Tuesday while a fat lady sang in the alley. Get me? I just like good music.
I actually went to see Marcus Foster for a reason that was a little different than why I see most artists, even Johnny Flynn who is my Meca. I write. Every day I write. For the most part I've always done it but there were a few end of relationship and kid bearing years that I didn't because I just wasn't in a place where it was forthcoming but I'm going strong now, perhaps more than ever. I write long, long stories for many reasons and about many things but right now I'm writing a story about a girl named Immi. She's nineteen and she's been through unspeakable things but the whole point is that she make a journey and get to where the person in the song "I Was Broken" is. Which is not an easy thing to do, no matter the reason or how long the journey. So that song is special for me and it is the reason it was the only song I recorded that night. I'm so glad I did and I will post it below. I've heard other versions and recordings of this song and to be honest, they've all been crap by comparison. I don't know how to hear Marcus Foster preform this song and still be okay with anyone else doing it. His version is so good that it just seems wrong.
It took me about two hours to get to Jammi Java as I was coming from Maryland. I hit some traffic but if you're going into Northern Virginia and you don't, I think it's a sign of the apocalypse so don't get happy just yet when you sail through because you may have to offer your still beating heart to get out alive. The traffic in that area is a fucking nightmare but I digress...
I got there with not too much traffic and I was even early. I sat in the parking lot and listened to some Sam and Marcus and well as Johnny Flynn because I don't hit the road for any reason without his CDs in the mix. I just refuse. The true test of a show is if I listen to him on the way home. If I do, I'll never seen you as an artist again because what's the point? I don't turn off Johnny Flynn for too many others but I should want to listen to your music on the way home from your show or I'm done with you. On the way home from Laura Marling and even Mumford, I listened to their music when I had Johnny Flynn in the car, that says something about them and how good I think they are.
I parked directly in front of Jammin Java and immediately saw someone I recognized. I didn't know his name at the time but I knew he was with Marcus. Her sat in front of my car and had a conversation with someone for thirty minutes or so while I waited for my friends, who live in the area by the way. I beat them from another state...hello?
I wasn't sure what to make of Jammi Java because it looks like nothing from the outside and the bar is super tiny but why they pulled the curtain back, there was a good sized room full of tables. We ran to the front and got excellent seats right at the stage. I mean, these are my damn feet! Can you get a better seat than that? We even had some nice girls sitting across from us. One of them gave me her card so I could forward my photos to her and I swear I can't find that damn thing but it will turn up. I lose everything at least once.
Sam Bradley was first and I swear, that guy is super fun! You can't watch him and be in a bad mood. He's kind of like a cartoon character and I mean that in a good way. He's just so animated. I am not as familiar with his music as Marcus Foster, but he really was great. I needed him to grow on me because I'm not the type to like music just because I'm supposed to. Actually if someone says to me, "You should love him because he's so much like Johnny Fynn and Marcus Foster" it actually turns me off and give him an even bigger hurdle to jump. A/ because I want him to stand on his own and B/ because he really doesn't sound anything like either one of them, if you're actually listening.
After Sam was Marcus and God of all creatures great and small was he a breath of fresh air! He was so amazing to listen to that I was sad to leave! His songs move me and I actually got a little teary at one of two points in the show. It's odd to see someone with that level of talent sing a song that he wrote, that is so sad in some ways. Makes you want to dig into his brain a little, see where that comes from. He even played one song at a piano, which you don't get to see a lot of at these smaller shows. He really was fantastic and soulful beyond his years. While I really liked him before I went, I needed to see him live to fall in love with him and that's what happened that night. I fell in love and could listen to him sing for hours and have. I listened to his CD all the way home not once thinking of Johnny Flynn and that's saying something.
See? His boots look like they've got a story to tell.
Perhaps the best part of the night was getting to meet them after and thank them. It's always nice to be able to tell someone how far you came to see them and have them be somewhat blown away and appreciative of it. I thought Johnny Flynn was going to fall over when I told him I drove five hours and these guys actually hugged me and told me how nice it was to hear. So sweet!
We bought some stuff, they signed some stuff, we talked for a bit and then we took photos and hit the road. It was such a great night and I hope they come around again because it was totally worth the trip.
They're really talented sweet guys and if you get the chance to see them, you should because it was worth it! Love them!
Under no circumstances can I post all of the photos I took at this show on my blog but I have them on my Flickr account and you can go HERE to see them.