My dear Fanfarlo, despite having enthusiastically introduced you to no less than five music-loving friends, no one fell hard for you like I did. I don't pretend to understand it, but it's their loss. I became your devoted servant in June when you offered up your phenomenal first album "Reservoir" for $1.00 until July 4th. I downloaded it, couldn't find a bad or weak song and put it on repeat for an embarrassing amount of time. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned only last weekend that you'd be playing the Iota Club tonight.
As for you, Iota, what's with the no advance ticket sales? If I'd driven the two hours to Arlington only to be turned away at the door, I think I would have cried or thrown a bit of a temper tantrum. Instead, I just arrived early, ate (flank steak over mixed greens with pears, candied walnuts and gorgonzola) and drank (Kluge Estate Simply Red) at the cafe and got my hand stamped before the line outside fully formed. The club was small; according to the bartender, it holds, "like a hundred people" although I also heard a guy behind me say he was officially number 184 and then they started turning people away. I was four people from the stage, so I thought its size was perfect.
Openers Freelance Whales with their dreamy pop and multitude of instruments were clearly chosen to complement Fanfarlo, playing, among others, harmonium, glockenspiel and banjo. Their use of multiple vocals, male and female, set the tone for the evening.
And then there was Fanfarlo, in beautiful voice and playing mandolins, clarinets, trumpets and, not to be outdone, glockenspiel. Their songs build rhythmically, symphonically and with enough melancholy for the entire audience to wallow in. And it was an audience who knew most of the words.
And those lyrics! After downloading the CD, I used their songs lyrics for blog post titles for months (among the many: Awake and Barely on My Feet, The Here and Now is Coming Round, Waiting for the Signal, Up on the Roof Again, Can You Hear the Beat, It's How I'll Know- It's Where I'll Go) just because the songs had earwormed themselves into my head and I needed to share. Of course, no one reading my blog would have ever recognized Fanfarlo lyrics in blog titles, except me.
I found a talkative music lover to share the show with. He lives two blocks from the Iota and hadn't even heard of the band before he saw their name on the schedule. He went online to check them out, was completely sold and there he was at the show, amazed that I'd known of them since June.
I had mentioned this show to a couple of people, hoping to find someone to accompany me; no one was interested. At the show tonight, my new music-lover friend agreed that, down the road, when the masses have caught on to Fanfarlo, this early career show for 100+ people will be the envy of all our music geek friends.
Too bad for them. They were asked.