May 20, 2024

Conquering Myself Until I See Another Hurdle Approaching

Echo & The Bunnymen
Songs To Learn And Sing 2024 Tour
Franklin Music Hall - Philadelphia, PA
We got to see one of my favorite bands perform at one of my favorite venues yesterday.  It was an excellent show, but I had to sacrifice something else that would have been pretty cool to be here.

Show banner designed by Andrew Kern

The first Sunday of the 2024 season at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater was scheduled to be a 35mm screening of the 1932 horror classic Freaks.  The start of the season was delayed due to the sad passing of Mr. Mattox, and this led to this screening being rescheduled for Sunday, May 19th, which was the same day as the Echo & The Bunnymen concert at the old Electric Factory in Philly.  For as much as I would have absolutely loved to be at this screening, I wasn't going to miss out on seeing one of my favorite bands.

We've seen a few concerts here over the years.  It's my favorite venues in the city because it's all general admission with no seats in the lower level, which means that all you have to do to get front row is show up early.

We ended up with front row center for this show, just a few feet to the right of Ian McCulloch.  We were also surrounded by a pretty cool mix of folks that ranged from teenagers who had discovered and fallen in love with 80's music to fellow Gen Xers who grew up listening to new wave.  One especially cool woman who we talked to on Sunday night was someone who we stood next to at a concert in this same venue six years ago.  I didn't catch her name, but on both occasions she reminded me of Lorraine Baines from Back To The Future if she was a manic dancing pixy... definitely my kind of people.

As it turned out, getting front row ended up being a necessity for this show.  We saw perfectly fine because we were so close, but the lighting and the smoke machines made it look like a band of shadows were performing for most of the folks who were further back than we were.

See what I mean?  I had no trouble seeing the band at all from where I was standing, but I held the phone chest high to record The Killing Moon and this is what was captured.  I swear, everything looked and sounded a thousand times better from where I was standing, but from the comments I've read online, this is what the stage looked like for some of the folks in the back.

Here is the setlist from the show: