Tag Archives: Tom Cantillon

Tommy & The High Pilots – Springfield, MO: The Outland 10-7-12


Band: Tommy & The High Pilots

Venue: The Outland

Location: Springfield, MO

Tickets: $3

Date: 10-7-12

Tommy & The High Pilots

Tommy & The High Pilots at The Outland Ballroom. From left to right: Steve Libby, Matt Palermo and Tom Cantillon.

First, I’d like to say that I am not stalking this band.  It’s their own fault for (a) playing near enough that I can see them frequently and (b) inspiring manic enthusiasm in their fans.

Second, if you weren’t at The Outland last night, you missed a great show.  As a wonderful surprise, The High Pilots actually played last and it was worth the wait.

Shall I count the ways?

Their song selection was spot on, as usual (though I really need to remember to request “The Limit” next time…haven’t seen that song performed since last November).  They had a mix of covers, old stuff and new stuff.  They’ve got a knack for playing sweetly moving songs then sweet songs designed to make you move.

I’ve decided to give you a retelling of the concert.  In this story, you are me but I’m not you.  Because I like being me and you will too.  Here’s how it was:

While you’re savoring the last few strains of “Stand By Me,” the bands opening number, they move onto “Round N Round,” and it is impossible to keep still.

Your blood’s pumping, you’re smiling at Tom’s antics and they start playing “On The Line.”  You look around at the audience and you see a couple of their fans closing their eyes and swaying to the music.  Then you laugh when Tom introduces “Bluesy Floozy” as a song about a bitch who was a floozy.

They announce they’re going to play something new.  You’re excited and scared.  What happens is wonderful.  They play a song called “Broken Down.”  It’s sad and beautiful and you’re mad at yourself for not recording the song so you can listen to it until your iPhone tells you it’s time to move on (then you find the song on YouTube, so you don’t worry about it).  Then it’s cover time.

“This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by the Talking Heads.  Tom’s voice is exactly right for the song.  It’s a moment of clarity and the bar seems to be a little quieter.  Except for the girl standing behind you.  She’s a bit noisy.  Talking at a concert in front of the stage seems like a weird place to talk, but maybe the band can’t hear her.

Tom announces that it’s another new song.  You peeked at Mike’s setlist so you’d be prepared for this song.  Because this song has been haunting you for weeks.  You record “Devil To Pay” and proceed to listen to nothing but that song for the next day and a half.  You also notice when watching the video that Tom definitely noticed the talkative girl.  He shushes and gently chastises her.  This has no effect.

They play another new song.  “Here In My Hands.”  You’re impressed with it, but know that it will take a few more listens before you can fully absorb it.  The excitement of “Devil To Pay” hasn’t worn off yet.

Then it’s time for a real crowd-pleaser.  Matt comes to the front of the stage, and they start on “Lorraine.”  This song is about a prostitute.  You cheerfully belt out the chorus and demand to know where your money’s gone.  In this case, the answer’s the merch table.

Then they conclude with their most famous song.  “Where To Start” takes you through troubling times, with the lesson that being in love is enough.  You smile at that message and are delighted that the audience seems to know this song.  You’ve all got this.

But wait!  There’s time for an encore!  They whip out a U2 cover of “Desire.”  Tom comes down into the audience (not a terribly crowded one, but it’s still great) and the bar really gets into the song.  Tom sits down in the middle of it, and chats with us.  It was an energetic and well-executed cover that still sounded like The High Pilots.  That is the sign of a great cover.

Then the concert is over.  You snag a setlist, talk to the band members, buy another shirt (because 4 wasn’t enough…you needed 5) and tell them goodbye.  You get hugs from everyone, excitedly hear that the new album is tentatively scheduled to be released at the end of February and walk out of the venue, pleased with the way this evening has gone.

The end.

Okay.  Here’s the scoop.  It was a great show, even if the turnout was small.  This band deserves a huge audience with people lined up to see them.  They’re worth it.  I’ll support them always because  I love their music and they will always deliver.  They keep getting better, they’re great guys and I’m positive you should never play pool with them for money.

Tommy & The High Pilots

The setlist for the evening and my new shirt.

And, now that I took you through the entire concert, I’ll give you the score:

Concert: A

Venue: A

Drink Prices: A-

Audience: C+*

Overall: A

  *As mentioned previously, a girl was talking THROUGH THE ENTIRE CONCERT.  It’s one thing to talk at the bar or the back of the room, but she was close enough to the stage that the band heard her.  They tried to get her to stop.  She refused.  To this girl, I have a message:

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you never come back to a High Pilots show, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you do, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will spill a drink on you.

Tommy & The High Pilots – St. Louis, MO: The Firebird 8-12-12


Band: Tommy & The High Pilots

Venue: The Firebird

Location: St. Louis, MO

Tickets: $13 ($15 at door)

Date: 8-12-12

“Say everyone else was shitty, but Mike was great.” – Mike Cantillon

You know how you have that one band that you’ll listen to only when you’re in a specific mood, because their music is really only one dimensional?

Tommy & The High Pilots is not that band.

Tommy & The High Pilots at the Firebird

Tommy & The High Pilots. From left to right: Steve Libby, Matt Palermo’s arms, Tom Cantillon and Mike Cantillon. Photo courtesy the wonderful Nicole.

On Sunday, August 12, 2012, Nicole (one of my friends who has been in a lot of these posts with me…she’s cool like that) and I drove up to St. Louis to see The High Pilots.  While driving, we had a discussion about why we loved this band and were willing to drive 3 hours one-way to see them.  We concluded that it’s because their music is brilliantly everyday.  And I don’t mean that in the sense of “it’s trite and like everything else.”  I mean that their music is applicable to every minute of your life because they have music that makes every minute of your life better.

Feeling sad?  There’s a song for that.  Feeling happy?  There’s a song for that.  Horny?  Triumphant?  Contemplative?

They cover a lot of ground.  But you already knew I loved their music.  And their live performances always deliver up the goods.

“And I lust you.  My grandma once told me that it takes 10 years for lust to become love…and I’m lusting the shit out of all of you.”  -Tom Cantillon

First, I think it’s important to note how wonderful these guys make the sound check.  I mean, Nicole and I were shifting about impatiently, wanting the show to start, and the guys are great about making the sound check something fun to watch and listen to.  You really have to admire that.

Second, their set wasn’t long enough.  This is my biggest consistent complaint about their shows.  I never get the chance to see them when they don’t get cut off at 8 songs.  8 songs goes by fast.  TOO fast.  It feels like we’re cut off when they start hitting their groove.

Of course, they also happen to be great performers.  They have memorable chemistry with the audience, and with each other.  They frequently toss grins to one another and to the crowd.  It makes them charming and irresistible.  I kept hearing one of the girls in front of me, both of whom had never seen or heard the band before, say:

“Tommy, you are flawless.  You are flawless.”

Without a doubt, their live performance always captures new fans and keeps them.

And yeah, they were on fire.  I’ve seen them 6 times now (not that I’ve been counting) and I would say this is the best they’ve sounded.  It might have been the venue, the crowd, the planet’s alignment.  All I know is they were great.  Despite some technical difficulties (like the mics not working at the end of the first song), the band had their act together.  Good show, gents.  Good show.

“Life’s full of ups and downs.  When you’re happy, BE happy.”  -Matt Palermo

Matt Palermo of Tommy & The High Pilots

From left to right: Nicole, Matt Palermo, me.

The High Pilots have been teasing us with talk of a new album for a while now.  Luckily, the boys played some new songs to whet our appetite.  And yeah.  It was successful.  Here’s a really good video of one of their new songs, “Devil To Pay” from their show at the Roxy in June.

Just listen to those lyrics.

“Tell me.  Do you love me in the worst way still?  Don’t ask me, ‘Do I need you?’ ‘Cause I plead you. And I know, you know, I do…Tell me.  Do you love me in the worse way still?  Don’t ask me, ‘Do I hold you?’  ‘Cause I told you.  And I know, you know, I will.”

I’ve always been a person first attracted to the lyrics of a song, and I can safely say that these give me chills.  And when Tom kicks in with the guitar?!?  It slays me non-lethally every time.

Safe to say this kid is looking forward to the new album anxiously.  And I would like “Devil To Pay” to be released as a single sometime in the nowish.  Cool?

“Don’t touch my cocktail.  EEEEEEYAH.  EEEEEEYAH.”  -Steve Libby

Steve Libby of Tommy & The High Pilots

Steve Libby is…the Most Interesting Man in the World.

The bottom line is that these guys are wonderful performers, musicians and guys.  As well as I can know them from bothering them at shows, I can say that they’re sweet and earnest.

My mom loves this band, my friends love this band.  There is no reason these guys shouldn’t be national icons.

So.  Let’s make that happen.

Concert: A

Venue: A+

Drink Prices: NA*

Audience: A

Overall: A

*If you’ll believe it, we didn’t drink at this show.  For some reason, a 3 hour drive makes me not want any alcohol in my system…I’m weird that way.  Anyone want to let me know how prices are?  Have they changed appreciably since the last concert I saw there?

Ludo – St. Louis, MO: The Pageant 12-10-11


Band: Ludo

Venue: The Pageant

Location: St. Louis, MO

Tickets: $16

Date: 12-10-2011

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”

“Hum Along”

“Go-Getter Greg”


“Lake Pontchartrain”

“Rotten Town/Skeletons On Parade”

“Laundry Girl”

“Anything For You”

“Girls On Trampolines”

“The Horror Of Our Love”

“Save Our City”

“Whipped Cream”

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”*

“Jingle Bells”*

“Silent Night”*

“I Wish You A Merry Christmas”*

“A Very Ludo Christmas”

“Love Me Dead”

“Good Will Hunting By Myself”

And now!  The score!

Concert: A+

Venue: A

Drink Prices: B

Audience: A+**

Overall: A+

*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.

Tommy & The High Pilots – St. Louis, MO: Firebird 11-25-11


Band: Tommy & The High Pilots

Venue: The Firebird

Location: St. Louis, MO

Tickets: $12

Date: 11-25-2011

This show was AMAZING.  And sure.  I hadn’t seen The High Pilots since August so I was more than a little excited, but I don’t think it was my imagination.  The crowd went wild for them, and Tom, Mike, Steve and Matt went crazy for us.  It was electric to be in that audience.  I was standing right in front of Steve (an awesome place to be considering how great he is with the crowd) and had a clear view of Tom (and his new blond hair).

First, let me take this opportunity to thank The High Pilots for playing my second favorite song of theirs that I was sure I’d never see in concert: “Lonely Place.”  FYI, if you click on the link, you’ll see a video I recorded.  Ignore my bad vocals along with Tom’s.  How could I not show my appreciation and sing along?  Oh, and I haven’t edited it yet, so it still looks like it was recorded on an iPhone (which it was).  Seriously, I think they knew how much I loved this song and they played it as a gift to me.  That’s how I’m looking at it.

Then, in the sweetest surprise possible, The High Pilots PLAYED A NEW SONG.  THEY PLAYED A NEW SONG.  And it was great.  It’s called “Young and Hungry” and I loved it.  I recorded it but, out of respect to the boys, I’m not going to post it.  Just trust me when I tell you that it was great.  Oh, and Mike, Matt and Steve assured me that their new album should be out sometime this coming Spring.  From what I heard at the concert, the wait will be worth it.

And I did, of course, talk to them after their set.  Matt and Mike complimented my coat in a pair of adorable accents (the coat has since been nominated for best piece in my wardrobe…it’ll win in a landslide.  The election is rigged.), Tom talked with me about the new song, and Steve won hero of the year.  After they did not, unfortunately, have my size in a t-shirt, I settled on getting the show posters that I had not yet acquired.  Having already purchased three High Pilots shirts, Steve gave me the posters for free (after telling me appreciatively that he saw me singing along to every song…I almost swooned).

The two High Pilots posters that Steve gave me.

By the way, I was totally at the Springfield show on the red poster.  That’s where I saw Antennas Up for the first time.

Of course, The High Pilots were opening for Ha Ha Tonka.  And, rest assured, Ha Ha Tonka was also splendid.  I bought my first Ha Ha Tonka shirt to celebrate their awesomeness.

My Ha Ha Tonka shirt.

And, for those of you who see me this week, don’t be surprised if I’m wearing it.

Now, I want to get serious for a minute.  The High Pilots are one of my favorite bands (seriously, probably top 2).  I love their music.  It’s always a surprise.  For every gentle and romantic lyric you get in Tom’s crooning voice like:

“Maybe she’s someone I’ve made up.  Maybe she’s somebody true.  But I won’t rest until I know you.” (“Lonely Place”)

You also get the following line from their most popular song, “Where To Start”:

“I’ll be depressed when I am 40, getting horny, having no sex.  Can’t catch a break, I’m too damn dirty.  Wish I was 16.”

Like I said.  It’s a surprise.

But it’s even more than the music.  I love that they care about the fans.  I love that they take the time to talk to those fans at their shows (I’ve harassed them enough to know this is the case, and they’ve never been less than delightfully charming).  I love that they’re easy and relaxed on stage, and will banter with the crowd.  I love that their performance isn’t about US, the audience, admiring THEM, the band.  It’s an exchange of ideas.  It’s a give and take.  The audience feeds them the energy, and they throw it back at us.  That seems like something every band should do in a live performance, but few that I’ve seen do it as skillfully as The High Pilots.  I think it’s fair to say that I’m a fan and I’ll be staying that way.

And, of course, there was the added benefit of seeing Tim Convy at the show (moog, keys and vocals for Ludo, for those of you who don’t know…and if you didn’t know, shame be upon ye).  I took an insanely blurry and dark photo with him and had the following conversation:

Tim: “Are you having a good time?”

Me: “Yeah!  I’m loving it.  Oh, by the way, I’ll be at ‘A Very Ludo Christmas.'”

Tim: “Really?  Me too.”

Me and Tim Convy from Ludo. He was wearing an awesome cardigan. FYI.

He’s hilarious.  He can’t help it.  He also told me that the t-shirts for “A Very Ludo Christmas” were going to be a T-Rex wearing a Santa Claus hat.  That sound you just heard was me counting out the dollars I’m going to be spending on merch.

That show should be epic.  And, now that I’ve droned on about pretty much everything on my brain this fine but chilly evening, here is the score:

Concert: A+

Venue: A

Drink Prices: B+*

Audience: A-

Overall: A

*Funny story about the drink prices.  We went to the bar and ordered four drinks.  The bartender tells us the total is $34.  We stare, astonished that the drinks were pretty much $9 each.  She then says the total was closer to $22.  Oh, math.  Why have you forsaken us?


Best Song Quotes Of Which There Are 13


Good Evening, Mr. Bond. I’ve been expecting you.

Sorry.  That just seemed appropriate.  Tonight’s edition of I-know-better-music-than-you will culminate in a list of some of my favorite song quotes.  Obviously, you are encouraged to tell me if you think I’m wrong, to tell me you agree with me, or to suggest some quotes that should have made it to the list.

Also, if you’re wondering why 13…why not 13?  Should you be engaging in such blatant numberism?  It’s not becoming.  Good day, madam.  I SAID GOOD DAY.

As always, viewer participation is advised.  And with that, I give you my top 13 song quotes*:

13. “In the Kingdom of Love / We’re all just fodder.” –“Kingdom of Spain” by The Decemberists

The only way you’ll understand this song is if you listen to it a minimum of two times.  I get something new out of it every time I listen to it, and this line always makes me nod wisely.

  12. “Maybe the lining of a winter’s coat / Mightn’t be the best place / To hide a summer’s secret” – “Knee Deep At ATP” by Los Campesinos!

I know I’ve mentioned this song several times, but that’s only because I love it so much and it speaks to me.  Also, he says “mightn’t.”  MIGHTN’T.  I challenge you not to swoon when you hear it.  And not to feel a bit depressed about love after this song.

11. “Coin-operated boy / With a pretty coin-operated voice / Saying that he loves me / That he’s thinking of me / Straight and to the point / That is why I want / A / Coin-operated boy.” – “Coin-Operated Boy” by The Dresden Dolls

This is another one of those songs that smacks you in the face.  At the beginning, you hear Amanda Palmer talking about the benefits of having a coin-operated boy.  Toward the end of the song, you realize she only wants one because she wants someone to love her and none of the real ones could do it right.  Yeah.  It’s a bit of a quirky downer.

10. “We were certainly uncertain / At least I’m pretty sure I am.” – “Missed the Boat” by Modest Mouse

This quote puts me in mind of Peter Pan.  Oh, the cleverness of Isaac Brock!  But really.  He’s a brilliant lyricist.  You can never go wrong listening to some Modest Mouse.  Or Ugly Casanova.  Or any projects he’s involved in.  You can assume his work will always be good, and you would always be right.

9. “It was love at second sight / I swear when I grow up / I won’t just buy you a rose / I will buy the flower shop / And you will never be lonely.” –“The Gambler” by Fun.

I think one of the reasons I like this song so much is that it’s talking about true love, but that it was “love at second sight.”  This entire song is lovely, and always makes me feel warm and romantically inclined.

8. “‘Cause in my head / There is a Greyhound station / Where I send my thoughts / To far off destinations / So they may have a chance / Of finding a place where they’re / Far more suited than here.” – “Soul Meets Body” by Death Cab For Cutie

This is such a wonderful mental image.  I don’t know that its place on this list really needs an explanation.  It’s just great.  Thank you Ben Gibbard.  Thank you.

7. “There’s a time to pray / And there’s a time to fight / Anything can be a weapon / If you’re holding it right.” – “Save Our City” by Ludo

This is one of those songs that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.  And I immediately want to scream “VIVA LA REVOLUCION!” and then I want to lead a revolution.  It’s such a powerful statement, that “anything can be a weapon if you’re holding it right.”  It gives me chills.

6. “You’re a masterpiece of particles / The genuine article / I’ll grease the wheels / Come out and spin it / I’ll keep the speed / You’ll be the limit.” – “The Limit”  by Tommy & the High Pilots

Before I heard this song, I had no idea it was the song I was looking for.  “The Limit” is such a great song to dance to, and “you’re a masterpiece of particles” is one of the sweetest things ever.  Note to everyone: excellent pick-up line material.  But only if you have Tom Cantillon’s angelic voice AND looks.

5. “If you ain’t sweet to me / I’ll desert you in a heartbeat / If you don’t savor me / I’ll salt you, make you savory.” – “If” by Islands

This song never fails to amuse me and force me to clap my hands with glee over Nick Thorburn’s play on words.  Do you get it?  “If you don’t savor me, I’ll salt you, make you savory.”  DO YOU GET IT?

4. “Language is the liquid / That we’re all dissolved in / Great for solving problems / After it creates a problem.” – “Blame It On The Tetons”by Modest Mouse

This is another of those lines where Isaac Brock is singing truth.  I have read arguments from philosophers struggling to say precisely what Brock does, and they don’t possess a tenth of his eloquence or present the same impact.  Words matter.  Thanks to Brock, the lesson has been learned.

3. “Every saint has a past / Every sinner has a future.” – “Topeka” by Ludo

This line might be the most profound one on this list.  Have you ever read anything that gives you more hope?  No one is perfect and everyone has the chance to be better.  Tim Ferrell is a wonderful lyricist, and has great depth and insight that I wish Ludo would use more.

2. “I see signs now all the time / That you’re not dead, you’re sleeping / I believe in anything / That brings you back home to me.” –“Signs” by Bloc Party

You know that blank slate period when you don’t have a specific song in mind, but there’s one song that kind of hovers in the background?  That song for me is “Signs,” and it’s this one part.  The song is as melancholic as they come, and haunts me.  Which is appropriate considering the song.  Listening to it is really the only way I can do it justice.

And now.  The moment some of you probably scrolled to the bottom of the page for without reading anything else, the number one song quote on my list is:

1. “And how it whispered / ‘Oh, adhere to me’ / ‘For we are bound by symmetry.'” – “Red Right Ankle” by The Decemberists

For those of you who know me, or remember my post about the Decemberists where I showed you a picture of my tattoo, this is no surprise.  For the rest of you, try and wrap your brain around the significance of this quote.  “We are bound by symmetry.”  When does that not apply?  Since I heard this song and fully comprehended it, I’ve never been able to look at another person without seeing that they are a PERSON.  Gay, black, Mormon or any variation therein, everyone is someone.  Music is powerful.

Now, good friends.  That does it for the list.  Again, comment if you wish to exclaim over my brilliance or mock me mercilessly.

One more thing.  This week (Thursday), Ha Ha Tonka will be playing at Lindbergh’s in Springfield.  If you want more info, go here.  I’ll be talking about it more later this week.

Now.  Go drink a  martini and get ready for the week.

Tommy & the High Pilots merchandise.

Just wanted to remind everyone that I take my band stalking seriously.  Also, if anyone from The High Pilots reads this, I’m looking to get my fourth shirt next month.  Come prepared.

*Order/songs/quotes/anything else I want is subject to change at any time based on any flight of fancy or journey of whimsy I go on.

Tommy & the High Pilots – Springfield, MO: Outland Ballroom, August 23, 2011


Band: Tommy & the High Pilots

Venue: Outland Ballroom

Location: Springfield, MO

Tickets: $3

Date: 8-23-11

Tom's setlist for the show.

No.  Tom does not get credit for excellent penmanship. But I am definitely cutting him a lot of slack for giving the setlist to me and for being awesome enough to recognize me at the concert.  I’ve seen Tommy & the High Pilots 4 times now, and he recognized me.  For real.  My giddiness was hard to disguise but, in an effort to contain my fan-girl ardor, I only squealed when he was out of earshot (I think?).

Then Matt Palermo (drums) talked to me after the show and sold me my third High Pilots shirt.  He was great.  Then Mike Cantillon (vocals/guitar/keyboard) talked in a British accent (quite a credible one, might I add).  Then Steve Libby (bass) did his impressively effective crowd-participation move (I have never seen an audience turn down his enthusiastic demand for clapping…EVER).

You know what I love almost as much as good music?  Bands with good personalities.  Tommy & the High Pilots have that.  In spades.  Headed by Tom Cantillon (vocals/guitar), these four gentlemen are fun to watch, fun to talk to, and amazing performers.  And Tom informed me that they’ll be working on a new album that will be better than anything they’ve released yet.  Hearing this news, I clapped my hands with glee thus reducing my cool factor by a minimum of 15 points.

The only downside to this concert was that I didn’t get to hear arguably my favorite song “The Limit”.  Outland made them wrap it up a little earlier than we would’ve liked (whatever last call).  The bartender was also a little surly in hustling us out the doors.  Understandable, of course.  It was a Tuesday night and I’m sure he had things he would rather be doing.  But certain comments should never be made to female customers, and it was pretty uncool.  Thus, the venue (though I personally love the atmosphere at Outland and have NEVER had this problem at other concerts I’ve attended there) got a lower grade than I had anticipated.

Everything else was stupendous.  The audience was there to have a good time, and the opening acts (Antennas Up and Heypenny) were both energetic and FUN.  I’ll do their performances justice in another post, as I feel they deserve your undivided attention.

If you haven’t listened to any High Pilots songs, what better place to begin than “Where to Start”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9CplYkz7QY

Also, check out their website http://thehighpilots.com/  And, if you’re converted by the time November rolls around, come to a concert.  More details to follow.

Concert: A+

Venue: B

Drink Prices: A

Audience: A-

Overall: A

PS: If you’re wondering what the fourth song is on the setlist, it’s “Sun Burns Out”.  I was at the concert and I still had trouble deciphering it.  Thought I’d save you the trouble of buying a code-breaking encyclopedia.  You’re welcome.