I have to admit, I’ve been lazy with my concert attendance over the last six weeks. Sunday night was no different. With the Rural Alberta Advantage playing at the Wexner Center, I spent most of the day convincing myself that I didn’t really need to go. My knowledge of The RAA (more on them later this week) was limited to two songs on their MySpace and a single YouTube video and I was flat out exhausted. For some reason, likely the early start time, I surrendered my $10 anyway. It was the best decision I have made in months. Because, Sunday night, I fell in Love.
For some reason, I had trouble finding any mention of who would be playing with The RAA, so you can imagine my surprise when, from the lobby as I entered (late, sadly), I heard strains of The Love Language, a band I had not only already heard of, but already liked. I had listened to their self-titled debut about 15 or 20 times back in February while it was streaming at RCRDLBL.com, but come the album’s release date, I was unable to track down down a copy and was eventually distracted from my pursuit. But I never forgot it. How could anyone forget the lo-fi hotness of the Love Language? The impassioned and ecstatic lead single “Lalita” (which you should be able to download here) secure this band’s reputation for years to come. Then there’s the intoxicating anthemic ballad “Manteo” and, oh yeah, every other song on the album.
So, yeah, the album is great and will likely finish high in my top 25 this year, but pair that with a live show explodes with so much energy that even a fat guy like me spends most of his time dancing (and I apologize to anyone who witnessed that). And while Stu McLamb’s vocals on the album are stellar, in live performance they propel him to whatever you call that level above rock star. And, where stage presene is concerned, it would not be out of line to apply that moniker to the whole band, but having spent several minutes talking with several of them following the show, I can say they certainly haven’t let it go to their heads.
Confession: the reason I haven’t attended a lot of concerts lately is that they can be unbelievably depressing. Regardless of my willingness to go anywhere just to hear good music, it is inevitable that I will encounter loads of hipsters and scenesters with their skinny jeans and skinnier girlfriends who seem to fill the hall with a sense that I just don’t belong there. Sunday night, I experienced nothing of the sort. I’m sure they were still there, yes, but from the moment I caught my first glimpse of The Love Language on stage, I could neither see nor feel anything else. I have not smiled so ridiculously much since I first saw Super Desserts six months ago. And here I am, once again, in Love.
In 1995, Dr. Gary Chapman published his book The Five Love Languages. There are tests and quizzes all over the internet to help a person identify his or her love language and I have friends who swear by them. I, personally, have never read any of the books or taken the quizzes, but whatever mine is, The Love Language are speaking it.