there’s nothing I can say: fleet foxes @ prospect park bandshell // 8.1.17

Sometimes you don’t actually attend a concert – you just sit on the grass outside the venue with a can of Bembel-With-Care and your best gal, and you listen without watching. I’ve never really done that before. I thought it would feel like something was missing, but it felt like driving down a familiar road in a different vehicle.

The highlight of my night was hearing “He Doesn’t Know Why,” which is a song I distinctly remember relating to my high school crush back when I really used to listen to Fleet Foxes religiously. The part about letting your family sway you is what really resonated with me. Somewhere there’s a charming anecdote about how I got him a red mark on his permanent record after a giant group of we honors students got kicked out of the library for talking, so his parents convinced him I was a bad influence and wouldn’t let him take me to prom, but this is not a comedy blog.

Now, a zillion years past that, I’ve chipped away at that association and have come to find the coda most comforting:

There’s nothing I can do
There’s nothing I can do
There’s nothing I can say
There’s nothing I can say

I love it when a song twists and turns and loses and gains meaning.

Fleet Foxes are completely ethereal live. Robin Pecknold’s voice was so full and rich in person. It had a lot more dimension than on recordings, which I don’t think I expected because his voice is already pretty distinctive. It didn’t struggle, it only shone.

Moment of appreciation for (Sandy) Alex G, too. I caught him back at Run For Cover’s Something In The Way fest 2016 and I’d never heard of him before then. I loved his set, but his recordings were, I’m afraid, lost on me until recently when I gave Rocket a spin. I feel fairly confident that I’ve played “Powerful Man” more than any other song in the past three weeks. I only caught the tail end of his set, but was stoked nonetheless.

We left early. I almost went back tonight for night two, but I can’t replicate the magic of stopping dead in our tracks because they’d begun playing “Mykonos” (my best gal’s favorite song), and then “White Winter Hymnal” (not my favorite, but very dear to me) immediately after.

I cannot ever again for the first time feel what it’s like to walk into the darkness of prospect park and away from “Third of May/Ōdaigahara” as it continues softly in the background without me.

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