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Show Journal: Manchester Orchestra at Erskine College

Credit: Kathrine Brock

Before I begin this I’m going to let you know that I did not ask Andy Hull what his spirit animal is at this show. If you don’t want to keep reading, I don’t blame you, because I told the internet that I would find out every band’s spirit animal, and I failed you. BUT, this is only because they are playing in Columbia on May 20th and I decided I will find out then instead.

Anyways. Erskine College. My first thought when I saw that was “whaaaat” and then “what the hell is Due West, SC” and then I was like “oh yeah, I’m in South Carolina, there are a lot of random cities with random names that I have never heard of.” The drive up to Due West was almost 2 hours and it was pretty nice with all the trees and rivers and stuff, but nothing I hadn’t seen before. South Carolina, I’m not too impressed. As soon as we hit Laurens, SC was when I started thinking “man, I’m probably gonna get shot for being british”.

SIDENOTE: I do not understand why so many Americans cared so much about the royal wedding. It seemed like they cared more than the brits do (cuz seriously, most of us don’t care at all). Like if there was a wedding between Joe Biden and a random American commoner, I wouldn’t care at all. No offense?

When we got to Erskine, me and my friend Jake realized that the town of Due West is pretty much only the college. There were a couple stores that said their hours were 1-5pm which makes no sense to me, but neither does most of America. We walked around a little bit until we heard sounds of a band playing and we stumbled upon a field where there was a stage set up. It was all in the shade and it was a really cool place with trees and things.

We waited for quite a while until Sequoyah got on stage and they were alright. It seemed like a lot of people are big fans of them there, but they did not seem anything too exciting to me. The bassist looked kinda bored the whole time, and I don’t blame him. I didn’t hate them or anything, they just weren’t my cup of tea. Next up though were Death On Two Wheels and they were AWESOME. Even when they were setting up their instruments you could tell they had a lot of energy built up for the show. All the members were completely into it, and it was absolutely brilliant. They kinda sounded like a mixture of The Black Keys and Death From Above 1979. Lead singer Trae Vedder has a gritty voice like no other singer I’ve heard before. They killed it.

Finally, Manchester Orchestra hit the stage and what can I say, they were obviously amazing. I have seen them three times now within a year (not including the Andy Hull solo show) and this was the best they have been. They all were in extreme high spirits, saying at one point that they should just record a comedy dvd because they do it better than music. They definitely were hilarious. At one point there was an obviously intoxicated girl screaming “I LOVE YOU” at Andy and he replied “you haven’t even heard us before. What’s your favorite song by us?” and as the crowd went quiet, she also went quiet, and after 30 seconds screamed “I JUST LOVE YOU”, then they proceeded to make up a song called “I Just Love You” that they said was their favorite song of theirs. Good stuff.

They only played two songs off the new album, April Fool and Simple Math but both of them were definitely solid and made me even more excited for the upcoming release. My favorite moment of the night was when the band said that they would only play Simple Math and I’ve Got Friends and then they’ll be done, but instead Andy stayed on the stage and played Sleeper 1972 and then a new song that he said he wrote just that morning. The show was as intimate as an outdoor venue can be and it made me pretty excited for their upcoming Columbia show since they’ll be playing even more tracks of their new album Simple Math.

It was a fantastic show and afterwards I talked to some of the members of Manchester and they were friendly and nice. They will be playing at Jillian’s in Columbia on Friday, May 20th. And their new album comes out on May 10th and it’s called Simple Math. I would suggest you check both of these out.