Venue: The Pageant
Location: St. Louis, MO
Sometimes I have a tendency to exaggerate. This is not one of those times. This concert was amazing. One of the best concerts I’ve been to. I mean, I don’t even know if I can speak coherently about this concert with all the Christmas I had coursing through me. Exhibit A:
A Very Ludo Christmas Stage
Garland, fake snow, angels and snowmen were everywhere on the stage. It was like Christmas decided it needed to have a show to spread Christmas joy. Christmas won last night. It won in a big way.
And Ludo was all right. I guess.
Okay. They were pretty awesome. I’ve seen them three times (this year), but this was definitely my favorite show. Maybe it was the atmosphere, maybe it was the audience, but they were undeniably “on” last night.
The show began with Santa coming out to light up the Christmas stage, with Ludo spilling out stage left. The crowd went wild. Andrew Volpe (lead vocals, guitar) grabbed his guitar and sauntered (for real, he sauntered) up to the microphone. Tim Convy (moog, keys, vocals) took his place in front of the fireplace decorated with stockings for all the band members (though Tom Cantillon’s, the touring bassist, just had a gym sock with his name written on it) with a wave and a bow for the audience. Matt Palermo (drums, vocals) sat down, putting his earplugs in and smiling at the crowd. Tim Ferrell (guitar, vocals), shorn of his magnificent locks, waved at the audience as he adjusted his guitar to sit comfortably. And, before the crowd could bask too much in the glory of Ludo, they began with “Part 1: Broken Bride.”
We went crazy. I mean, everyone in the pit was belting out the lyrics, hugging each other and basically clapping our hands in glee. It was wonderful.
Ludo at A Very Ludo Christmas
An admittedly blurry photo. It’s not great. But I think it conveys the feeling of a Ludo concert. Excitement, bright colors and Andrew and Tim C. (the blur at the left of the photo) going nuts. Tim C. doesn’t stay still for any length of time (especially when he’s being accosted by an inflatable snowman. Yeah, that happened…TWICE). Andrew is always engaging the crowd with strategically placed pursing of the lips and occasional winks.
So, they started on a really high note. And kept going higher. What might have been one of the more exciting moments for me was seeing “Laundry Girl.” I never thought I would get the chance to see that song live. And, of course, when I heard the opening chords, my phone was out and I recorded it. The video was recorded oddly, but I hope you can forgive that after the first minute or so.
Then, after more rocking, Andrew took the stage alone for “The Horror Of Our Love.”
Andrew Volpe singing "The Horror Of Our Love."
As usual, Andrew singing “The Horror Of Our Love” is always a moving part of the concert. In the middle of the song, a girl fainted in the pit. The Ludo fans surrounding her helped her get out of there, so kudos to everyone who helped her and hope she’s okay. I’m inclined to agree with Andrew’s assessment. She fainted because of all the Christmas. There was an awful lot of it, folks.
The next big moment (for me, at least) was when they played “Save Our City.” Listen to that song. It’s the only way for you to put this next story in context. We’re all singing along and going crazy when we get to this part in the song:
“The mayor’s ruined head. The boy steps to the window. Cries out from the ledge to the people below. There’s a time to pray and there’s a time to fight, anything can be a weapon if you’re holding it right. Defend what is yours. They will not take our souls. It’s time now to rise and fight.”
And, of course, we’re all way into it. Then with that brief pause and the words “Save our city” (at the 4:49 mark in the song), a confetti cannon goes off and showers the people in the pit. It was so great. That high moment of tension and triumph in the song, and as we’re all screaming about how we’re going to be victorious over zombies, it’s raining confetti. Could there have been a better moment?
Why, yes. Yes there could’ve been.
After the last song (don’t quote me on this, but I think it was “Good Will Hunting By Myself”), Ludo threw presents into the crowd. They were chucking them to the people in the pit, the balcony, the bar, everywhere. And I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the friend I went to the concert with, Brett Zeiler. He managed to snag a couple presents, one for him and one for me. His was a flower ornament. Mine was substantially cooler (thanks Brett).
Bruce Springsteen Tape, still in wrapping paper, with some confetti from A Very Ludo Christmas.
So, yeah. THAT’S pretty awesome. But the awesome didn’t end there for me. After waiting in line for forever (probably 20 minutes) for the meet and greet in the merch room, we got to talk to the band. And I had a stroke of brilliance. Obviously I wanted them to sign something. But what? Answer:
The Allyson's Setlist Shirt signed by Tom Cantillon, Andrew Volpe, Tim Ferrell, Tim Convy and Matt Palermo.
I got them to sign my Allyson’s Setlist t-shirt. You can’t see my face right now, but it’s the face of an excited person. This put the icing on an already iced and delicious cake. I can officially retire last night as having been a wonderful, wonderful evening.
Now. I wanted everyone to have an idea of what Ludo played at the concert. However, I can’t remember the order the songs were played in. I mean, I had better things to do than take meticulous notes. But, here is what my memory tells me occurred:
“Part 1: Broken Bride”
“Rotten Town/Skeletons On Parade”
“Anything For You”
“Girls On Trampolines”
“The Horror Of Our Love”
“Save Our City”
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”*
“I Wish You A Merry Christmas”*
“A Very Ludo Christmas”
“Love Me Dead”
“Good Will Hunting By Myself”
And now! The score!
Drink Prices: B
*Group sing-alongs. Andrew, Tim F. and Tim C. came out into the audience and played for us. ‘Twas wonderful and put everyone into the Christmas spirit. Even though we didn’t follow Andrew’s directions very well…
** I can’t describe how awesome the audience was here. You know, Ludo makes great music full of wonderful lyrics and meaningful instrumentation, but just as great is their ability to inspire such loyalty in a crowd. There wasn’t a single person I was standing next to who wasn’t belting out the words to every song, raising their fists in the air, or dancing with me when “Girls On Trampolines” came on. Ludo is the type of band that actively encourages audience participation, and the audience is always pushed to answer the call. It makes Ludo shows some of the best to see. If you ever have the chance, take it. You won’t regret it.