I’d say, “That’s all I can say about that show,” but it’s nowhere close.
I thought my first Spree show would always be my favorite. I remember the opening blasts of A Long Day Continues making my head explode with sheer amazement and that moment lives on in my heart and mind every time I think of the Spree and what they mean to me, but tonight’s show in San Diego was almost that for the entire duration of the show.
First, the bad: The sound was fairly awful. For whatever reason, at my station right in front of Audrey and next to Nick, the piano sounded really odd and slightly out of tune (IMPOSSIBLE!) and there was a lot of feedback and everything bled together into static occasionally, (especially during La La, where it was unbearable). Just like the LA show you couldn’t really hear Tim sing most of the time, but I think that’s the idea since it was the same level at both shows. The audience was fairly underwhelming at first and Running Away almost felt a little wasted on a low energy crowd. The entire show got off to a bad start, with Give Me Some Truth starting half way into the song and the entire intro just not playing as well as it did at the LA show. That’s about it for my gripes.
Now, the good: The audience warmed up real quick and got pretty crazy. When the Love chant started at the beginning of the encore, it was almost like the entire place FINALLY understood what was happening and it just went nuts. I ended up with this girl next to me whose neck was visibly straining, just like mine, as we dug as fucking DEEP as we could and belted out the lyrics with all our strength, drenched in sweat and totally blissed out. It was magical.
My friend, Nick, in the black spree shirt, drenched in sweat, had such a good time. I have to say it again: Nimeskern dug real deep, deeper than he did at the LA show, and I think Nick had a good part in attracting people who wanted to dance and sing over to the stage. He was just going nuts. He almost passed out, actually. That’s digging deep right there.
Tim was, well, Tim was incredible. I’ve never heard him say fuck so much in his life. The story about the toilet paper… well, first, let me go off on a tangent. I don’t actually like to meet the members of bands I like. I like to just keep them as I know them, through their songs. I’ve gotten to know members of a few bands I loved and it actually sort of tainted my opinion of them. So, though I’ve had chances to meet Tim and Audrey (who I said hello to outside of Canes!! She was nice, but I didn’t know what to say) and others but I’ve chosen to keep my distance.
This is actually especially important for the Spree, in a weird way. Seeing the Spree live is about as close as I can get to a religious experience. I feel like I am witnessing God when I watch the Spree, in a philosophical way, and I fear that actually knowing the band personally would maybe ruin it for me. So, it was interesting to me when Tim’s story about the toilet paper made me feel an even greater connection to the band as a whole, like: these are real people, Tim, et al, are not golden gods. It actually somewhat increased my attachment to the group.
But, the most important thing that happened to me was shortly after I realized I wasn’t going to get sick like I did at the LA show and decided to really start digging deep, like I did at the first show I’d been to. I immediately got as into it as Nick was and tried to get everyone else into it. Shortly after, there I am, covered head to toe in sweat, I feel disgusting and wet all over and the confetti is sticking to my head and yet… I feel perfect. I feel wonderful.
Then, during King at the end, Tim comes down off the stage right in front of Nick and I, and we circle around him and I’m singing with him and he turns and looks at me, and he points at me as we sing “Love your strife with GOD” he points directly at me from around another person, and then comes toward me and places his hand on the top of my disgustingly sweaty head of short hair, eye contact still kept, so I place my hand on top of his head, a few more words of the song, and then he pulls me in and we just EMBRACED each other. there were tears in my eyes, but i fought them back as we spun slightly thru the audience and headed toward a group of people jumping, where it broke and all of us, everyone, started jumping up and down with Tim…
and I just don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything in my life that has ever made me feel like I did at that moment. I don’t want to load this all up with over the top platitudes but I really felt as if God reached out touched me just to let me know that He knows that I exist—not that I think of Tim in any sort of God sense, but in the sense that the moment was orchestrated by God, or that I want to live in a world in which God could move me that much, that God would care to, and by the end of the show I was still fighting back tears because I knew that when this was over I was going to miss it all so damn much, and even now as I type this, I feel something well up in the back of my throat and I have to choke it down.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in my entire life. Maybe that’s sad, I don’t know, but I’ve never… Nevermind, you get it, there’s tears in my eyes, I’m going to stop talking about it now.
I’m still happy, I’m still blissed out, and I don’t miss it, because I know I’ll see them again and again for many years to come and there will never be too much time in between shows, and I know that the band, Tim, wouldn’t want me to be upset that they’re gone.
Other great moments
Tim speaking to the venue people during the pause in King, pleading with them to let him keep performing for us since he was going past their curfew. “I will give you everything I have if you just give me three more minutes and let me give these people what they’ve been waiting for this whole show.”
Tim’s speech on the end being totally off the top of his head and totally sloppy and repetitive but still somewhat endearing in a way. Tim, in general, was just really fired up the whole show. It really didn’t seem like his day was going good (toilet paper lol) and the show started off kind of sloppy and he was having issues with whatever earplug/earphone things he had on, but he just channeled all that angry energy into giving as much as he could.
TIM CROWD SURFED DURING LITHIUM (Has that happened before?) Esp. funny because on the drive down there one of my friends jokingly mentioned crowd surfing and I said, “I can’t imagine there being any crowd surfing during a Spree show, except maybe during Lithium.”
Audrey and Tim’s rock-paper-scissors foolishness to decide whether to play Solider Girl or Hold Me Now (extra encore songs!) only to have Tim keep putting out one finger and saying it was “dynamite” and blew up rock. Audrey won, they played Solider Girl, and then Tim just decided to play Hold Me Now anyway.
Regret: Totally thought of shouting out FIVE YEARS (and coordinating the shout with Nick) after it was far too late. Sigh.
Walking around outside Canes when we got there early and seeing (I don’t know names) the violinist playing outside, and later on seeing her play inside on the stage a little bit solo about an hour before the show. Also saw Mr. Trombone playing outside. Walked up to Audrey and, I think, Apotsala while they were smoking cigarettes outside and said, “Audrey?” as if she was a friend I knew in high school and her totally befuddled reaction to such a botched attempt to say hello. Saw quite a few other members walking the beach and stuff.
The food at Canes was overpriced and totally not worth it. My crabmeat melt wasn’t bad but it wasn’t $12 worth of tasty, I’ll say that much. Quality nutritional food is not to be found at every corner, that’s why it is why it is hard to maintain a healthy weight.
Magellan said hello to me early on, then came up to me after the show. I saw a lot of faces I recognized from the LA show, but I am not much of a social butterfly so I didn’t really know anyone.
A random guy I didn’t know came up to me after the show and Hi-fived me. He said, “You know, I haven’t had anyone turn down a high five this entire time. That never happens! I think that says something about the power of the show!”
For some reason I can’t remember the encore chant (raise our voices, I know that part), but I felt occasionally like Nick and I were carrying it on my own. Each time a band member would leave the stage the audience would stop singing, which was at it’s worst when Ricky left the stage.
Tim calling out to people leaving during King, saying, “If you’re leaving, you’re totally fucked up,” and then during the climax of the song, saying, “Those people left fucked up.” Or maybe he said “…were fucked.” One of the two.
The general feeling of the audience, especially during Lithium, was incredible. Simply incredible.