This first adventure has sent me back to my middle school emo kid days, where I rocked a hard side part and smuggled the same black shirt out of the house under a hoodie each day, because my parents were anti-emo and refused to buy me more black clothes. Eyeliner? Not allowed, instead, I used sharpie and actual highlighters. It wasn't cute.

(photo here)

But I digress, once I saw that my friend Anthony’s favorite band was going to be playing at a local venue in less than a week, I figured this was pretty much the perfect opportunity for me. Got permission to shoot and spent every day leading up to the show blasting some emo tunes, but, wanting to go in blind to this particular show, I stayed away from any music from the performing bands. I wanted to be surprised.

Oh yeah, the band. The band is The Early November, and I have, admittedly, had only listened to one song from them (Ever So Sweet) up until this point. It's made it onto my “Sad Songs” playlist (yes, I have a playlist for songs that I listen to when I WANT to cry and cut my hair shorter over a minor inconvenience), but something something about me sucking when it comes to listening to new tunes. Performing with them that night were the bands OWEL and Have Mercy.

The first band to take the stage that night was OWEL, an alternative indie rock band.

Yes, that’s a violin and yes, I’m very excited about it

OWEL’s performance set the tone for the evening. With an array of instruments, this six-piece band sounded larger than life while managing to stay in perfect harmony with each other. The band members just worked together SO well, each mastering their instrument(s) to produce some absolutely gorgeous songs. The band incorporated some of the more uncommon instruments into their set, such as a violin, a trumpet, and some weird red tube thing that was used by the drummer. Hey, it worked, and it worked well.

“Dreamy, dreamy vocals,” is the only appropriate caption for this photo

OWEL's final song, Snowglobe, was unlike anything I had ever heard before. At seven minutes and thirty-four seconds long, I still want to hit "replay" whenever I finish listening to it while out and about now. It's earned a permanent spot on my "Good Feelings for Bad Days" playlist, for sure. The song started out slow and simple, with one of those "warm, fuzzy feelings" type of sounds and only got better as it went on that night. There might even have been some xylophone action going on in there (OWEL, come and correct me if I'm wrong about this)? As the song went on, more and more instruments were introduced, as well as some gorgeous vocals and lyrics. Throughout the song, the music built and built and built into something beautiful, and near the end, was stripped down to only the beautiful vocals and violin melodies. It then picked up again, louder and stronger than before, before ending as the band shot the crowd a smile and walked off stage.

Violin, vio-lin, violin is IN

Never have I been so glad to be so early to a show!

After OWEL's performance, HaveMercy took the stage

This is Brian, he sings like an angel

Have Mercy is a rock band that has been around for 10(!!!) years. Their set started slowly, with the lead singer starting solo with just his guitar, as the rest of the band began jumping in and playing behind him. By this point, the crowd was beginning to flood the stage and some die-hard Have Mercy fans made their way to the front to sing along to every song they played, which was a lot of fun to watch!

Uh, hair GOALZ

I could tell that one of the songs they performed, Let's Talk About Your Hair, was a crowd favorite. The song begins with a good beat and pretty lyrics, which is more than enough for me to be 100% into. I could feel the emotion in the song, not only from the lead singer, but also from every other member of the band. To me, this was a song about defeat, and what could have been. Hit me right in the feels.

"But I know that you know, that I know that you don't really care. Let's talk about your hair and how its grown and how we know that we're not getting anywhere."

While their set started out slow, it definitely got more hard rock-y by the the middle of their set, and the crowd's energy began to shift. The excitement was contagious, and although I had never heard of this band before, I was getting pumped for each new song they performed.

And before I knew it, it was time for The Early November to come up and perform.

CAPTION THIS

I did my homework (and by that I mean I stalked their Wikipedia page) and learned that The Early November is a rock band from New Jersey. Apparently, if you were an emo kid back in the day, you LOVED this band. I have no idea how I missed that, because I was the emo-ist of kids. I'm just super thankful my friend Anthony recommended these guys to me, because they put on a really great show and played some really, really beautiful songs that I'm happy to add to my playlist (gasp!).

+10 points for anyone who can guess how many guitar changes took place this night

As the band made their way to the stage, the empty spaces in the crowd began to fill and the you could feel the excitement in the air. They opened with the song A Stain on the Carpet and the cheers from the crowd gave way to silence as everyone stopped what they were doing to simply listen to and admire Ace's voice. The lead singer has a voice that's hard to describe, one that is unlike any I've ever heard before. It's soft and sweet, but still commands attention. 10/10 would let this man sing me to sleep.

Lilac edits for the band’s new album, Lilac

“Didn’t give up at eighteen when everybody said it was just like the dream they had.”

Ace, when asked about the meaning of Ave Maria, said:

“It’s about being told things are impossible. Often times people will tell you things aren’t realistic and not to try because of some inadequacies they feel. This song is about ignoring all of that and pushing on. Reaching the goal isn’t the point but going for it is.”

Love, love, love it.

I’m convinced this is the fourth Jonas brother

The band played through some more songs, including Ever So Sweet (I DID cry, here) and included their classic anthems everyone room sang along to (I did my best to follow along, and failed miserably). At the end of the show, the band stuck around to meet the fans - they were INCREDIBLY kind people. I'm looking forward to the next album they create (fingers crossed!) and can't wait to hear what they have planned next.

Guitar number, idk like 12?

Not really sure how to end blog posts yet so...that's all I've got and thanks for reading?