It’s funny how the exact same words coming out of different mouths can mean completely different things. I’m not particularly proud of it but admittedly when it comes to music I listen to I have a swelled sense of entitlement that can make me completely dismissive of most people’s music recommendations. It’s not (completely) because I’ve become jaded by the constricted listening habits of the general public, but more because when most people make a comment about how I have to hear a band, and that I’m going to love them, they’ve made zero effort into figuring out my music proclivities and their statement is reflective of a though that since they like a band, everyone will. There are very few bands that will ever be universally liked; those that are tend to be way too conservative for my tastes anyway.
The silver lining to my pedantic attitude towards most people’s music recommendations is that I get to reserve my energy to spend time on the music that peoples whose ear I trust glow about. When my buddy and fellow music writer Phillip told me that I had to hear the newest release from The War on Drugs, I immediately went down to the record store to pick up a copy, when they were sold out I ordered it and waited patiently. Two weeks later when Lost in the Dream finally arrived I was knocked back by the sound. I franticly contacted my friend to apologize that it took me this long to listen to the album, his response was equally dismissive towards me as I am towards strangers, “Dude it’s only been two weeks”.
The two weeks I spent not listening to this new The War on Drugs album seemed like time that was totally lost in the ether never to be reclaimed again. The three months between that day and this show at The Fonda just seemed like a countdown.
The biggest appeal of The War on Drugs live show is how it feels that they would be just as happy presenting this masterpiece for 20 people in a living room as they would a theatre as glorious as The Fonda Hollywood. That type of modesty, which stands in stark juxtaposition to my personal vanity I started this article out with, is disarming and enchanting in a way that belies such a polished sound. Sounds like “Under the Pressure”, “Red Eyes”, and the title track “Lost in the Dream” hit so hard it felt like I needed a corner man and smelling salts to snap me back to reality. One of the grandest accolades I know how to bestow upon any art is to call it transformative, and that’s what the newest material coming from The War on Drugs is to me. Somewhere in the middle of the set they played their opus closing track of the new album “In Reverse”. From that moment on it was like a comb ran through me that changed my outlook on everything, that feeling won’t last forever, but for this one night it felt like perfection
Pics of The War On Drugs – The Fonda 10-2-14
Pics of Cass McCombs – The Fonda 10-2-14