A couple of weeks ago we finally made it to The Stone Church in Brattleboro. If you like live music, it doesn’t get much better than this place. It’s literally an old church with great acoustics, beautiful stained glass, and a giant organ. And boy is it intimate…
Brian and I were there see our friends Ashley Storrow and Putnam Smith. They were opening for a band we hadn’t heard of. They were great, just like we knew they would be.
The big surprise of the night, though, was Town Meeting. It was the best live show I’ve seen in a long time. At one point Brian turned to me and said, “I saw The Dropkick Murphys on the small stage at a Warped Tour back in the ’90s… and I feel like I just had the same kind of experience. We’re never going to be able to see these guys in a setting like this again.”
He was right. I felt like I was seeing some combination of Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, and the Zac Brown Band that was going to skyrocket to stardom at any moment. (And as I found out after some Googling, they were opening for Jason Isbell last weekend… and he is my absolute favorite of the moment, so stardom is not far off.)
I’m a sucker for live performances, and there is no better introduction for a band like Town Meeting. These guys are all energy. The words “Wall of Sound” kept running through my head during the performance. Each brother — yes, the three lead-singers are all brothers–has a lovely and distinct voice. My particular favorite was Babe–the guy on the end who looks and sounds like a countrified Eddie Vedder. (He also happens to look like my own not-so-little brother, which probably endears him to me even more.) The first time he opened his mouth to sing lead, I said, “Wow, I was not expecting that!”
I’ve spent quite some time trying to find a video on YouTube that does them justice. I’m not sure it exists… Part of that, I think, is the magic of seeing them in a space like The Stone Church (Seriously, if you live within a couple of hours of Brattleboro and haven’t caught a show in this venue, you’re missing out.) So, I had to upload my own…
I downloaded two of their albums the morning after seeing these guys. They’re really good, but as I’d expected, they weren’t as magical as the live performance. Babe’s vocals were cleaned up, less raw–less whiskey inflected. But you better believe I’ll be keeping an eye out for their next performance near me.
But before I stop gushing, here’s a really terrible video I took (sorry!) of the band’s really wonderful encore where they literally just came out into the audience and had a singalong (hardly a night goes by in Vermont where there isn’t a singalong somewhere…)