Well, this weekend I travelled to Minneapolis with my friend Sarah. The original purpose of this trip was to see The Fiery Furnaces play at the 400 Bar, but this show only allowed 21+ to enter. We still went to the venue and try and find a way in, but instead of confronting the 'ID Checker', Sarah and I just waited off to the side until we were ready to try something. Then, we had the greatest luck in the world. Matt Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces walks out of the bar to make a phone call. Really fucking excited, I jump up and walk up to him and say, "Hey Matt" and he responds with a "Yeah, hey". Then I explain to him what was going on with our situation of a 4 hour drive and the inability to enter. So he says, "Yeah, I'll see if they allow a guest list and then I'll add you guys to it so you can enter in." So he enters and we wait. Then, there's a van door that opens and Eleanor stumbles out. I run up to her and tell her about our situation as well and she sympathizes, "Oh man, that really sucks, I'm sorry you came all this way. I'll go and talk to the bar guys too." So we continue to wait. After a little while Matt returns outside to talk to us, "Yeah, I'm sorry but they won't allow us to bring you guys in. They're worried about their liquor license and stuff. But, maybe later on you guys can slip in once some other bands are playing." So at this point, I thank Matt for trying for us and that we'll just wait out here and hope something happens.
So we wait.
We listened to the opening act (The French Kicks) from outside the bar. They sounded good, but they are the kind of high energy act that isn't properly portrayed on their album, so sitting outside the bar doesn't do them justice. But after their set White Magic begins to set up and Sarah and I are just chilling outside. It's about 10:30 at this point so we've been waiting for 2 1/2 hours outside already... thank god for the decent weather. So then Matt walks out of the bar towards us and says, "Here, just a second." He shuffles to the van and takes out a package of CDs. Then tells me, "Go wait by that side door." So, Sarah and I chill by the side door for a second and Matt comes by and opens it so we can enter!! We walk into the bar and we're really fucking ecstatic... we almost left at 8:45 because it seemed hopeless. We stand really close and watch White Magic set up and play. They did a great job with the first few songs, but I became a little tired of their mostly similar songs. During the White Magic set Eleanor walked by us and said, "Hey guys, oh wait, I'm not supposed to know you." As stupid as it sounds, little things like that were really exciting.
So then the Furnaces set up to play. It was a 4 man band, Eleanor on vocals, Matt on keyboards/guitar/backup vocals, then one tour member on bass/keyboards, and the touring drummer. They played all of their songs at an increased tempo so the show was a much higher energy than I previously anticipated. They also strung their entire set together so the performace was, in reality, one long song. They played little segments from most of Blueberry Boat and a few selections off Gallowbird's Bark. They did an amazing job with the cohesion of all these songs. It was very fluid and they performed it essentially flawlessly (little keyboard malfunction, but they worked around it). After they finished Sarah and I hung around the bar to wait and get their autographs like they had said they would. So I purchased a Gallowbird's Bark LP, a Fiery Furnaces t-shirt, and another Blueberry Boat CD for them to sign. We talked to Eleanor and Matt a little more as they signed our crap and we thanked them for putting so much effort into allowing(sneaking) us in to the show.
Once we were ready to leave we hopped into Sarah's car and drove around aimlessly trying to reach our hotel. We got lost for about 45 minutes. But eventually we did reach the hotel at about 2AM... and as we walked towards the door I saw a bizarrely familiar figure. The Fiery Furnaces were staying in the same hotel. Eleanor sees us and exclaims, "No shit!" Then in the morning at around 11 we left the room to head home and we run into them AGAIN... they were leaving for a show in Wisconsin at the same time as us. Never before would I have expected to meet the Fiery Furnaces but to meet them... 3 times in 1 day is just weird.
So, it was just amazing to be able to talk to the Fiery Furnaces and actually have them recognize and seek us out. It was an amazing event.Autographed Blueberry Boat Scan
Sorry it's such a long story... I was just overly excited as I wrote it