It was a humid night in Canton as the McLovins took the stage. They were headlining a benefit concert for Jeff Howard's class, and in many ways this was a homecoming. In a summer full offestival and away shows, a nice local gig is a bonus and a show at one of the band member's high school makes it a rarity. With the opening chords of Toky Tea it was obvious this was Jeff's night. Jake skipped out on the second verse instead opening up an extended jam to allow Jeff a chance to stretch and get the musical kinks out.
Throughout the night the focus moved from one band member to another, Jake was orchestrating the night and giving a clinic on the flow of the show. There were a plethora of high points with Jason stepped up huge on Break On Through and Jake played a devastating Guillotine Machine intro. The sets ebbed and flowed along, moving from the racous extremes of Virtual Circle to the melodic chill of Watching The Detectives.
Finally forced to pull the plug after a pair of 45 minute sets, the band met and talked with their fans, most of whom were their peers and classmates. It's an interesting dichotomy, how do you handle the acclaim and excitement of the weekend shows, and then going back to school during the week.. it's an interesting situation, and one that the band is going to have to get used to dealing with. This summer is just beginning and the game is afoot.
Dave Malloy has a very nice audience recording of this show, you can grab it at Archive.Org. I've listened to it a few times and this version of Purple Trees really summed up the free-wheeling, take-no-prisoners tone of the night.. check out how controlled this is before just exploding at the 7:44 mark.. gives me chills.