• Fanfarlo & Waterstrider @ Slim's SF April 17th

    Abr 20 2012, 9h53

    Tue 17 Apr – Fanfarlo
    Questionably the best night of my life — Everything fell into place. I was in the right places and the right times, ‘twas perfect. Everything happens for a reason.


    At 6:35pm, Ha and I headed out to the BART, thinking that we were slightly late (because doors opened at 7pm and it takes about an hour to get to Slim’s from Berkeley). We got to SF and ended up getting slightly lost, turning the wrong way and walking a block away from Slim’s (trust me, this is crucial info), but we rushed back the other way and got to Slim’s safe ‘n sound. We got our tickets at will-call, got our hands stamped for being underaged, and walked in. We were pretty late, but the venue was relatively empty. The majority of the people were sitting in the back of the venue at the tables. I headed to the Merch Table and a girl immediately came to help me. Then, a guy in a hat walked up and told her that she wasn’t scheduled to work this show. I talked to him briefly about my internal battle of what to purchase, but I needed to pee so badly I ran downstairs to pee, grabbed a fanfarlo poster from the wall and went back up. Now, without the desperate need to pee, I realized who I was talking to — Amos Memon, the drummer of Fanfarlo. There he was, selling his own merch, interacting with all his fans. I tried to play it cool, but you know me, awkward as fuck… There were only signed CD’s but I asked if there was any way to get my T-Shirt signed and he generously offered to get my t-shirt signed by everyone. I was literally speechless, so I thanked him and then went to claim a spot in the front row. Five minutes later, I decided that I wanted the poster, and I walked back to the merch table and bought my poster. Again, he offered to get the poster signed, not only by the band, but by the artist of the poster! I am 100% sure that Ha and I were the only ones to get our things signed, and certainly the only people that got the artist Alison to sign our poster.
    I managed to talk to Amos about Coachella (he said it was good, by the way), and I asked him about their show in LA with Manchester Orchestra. He asked me what I studied and what not. I was proud of myself — managed to hold casual conversation, regardless of the fact that it was just small talk. I did get to see Cathy really quickly before the show, she signed my poster and shirt before heading to get ready for the show.


    Waterstrider, a band from Berkeley, opened for Fanfarlo. They were fantastic! I was really pleased that Slim’s booked such a great opening band. They had unique instruments (reminded me of Vampire Weekend and their african beatzzz) and their sound resembled Gardens & Villa, who just happen to be their close friends. Nate, the lead singer, was enthusiastic on stage, had great moves, and played a recorder! It blew me away. Bridey was on the Congas, and a xylophone? (that had a Berkeley Co-Op sticker on it) and played the triangle along with a few other small instruments I can’t recall at this moment. She looked kind of like Chris Baio’s sister and was wearing this blue/purple dress that was adorable. Sean was playing on the keyboard, played the guitar, and even whipped out the flute for a few songs, all while dancing his ass off. Alex was dancin’ with his guitar and having it good time. I didnt get a chance to really see Walker and Clayton cause some speakers were blockin’ my view, but I got a chance to talk to them after the show — more about that later. Their set was really fucking awesome. Ha was DYING next to me (of happiness, of course). I wanna get my hands the stuff they played that wasn’t on their EP.
    As they were cleaning up, they were talking to the crowd and we found out that they lived in Cloyne and still practice there (which just means I’ll be creeping around Cloyne trying to listen to them practice again).

    Fanfarlo. The band set up their instruments along with their crew, which I thought was really nice. They went backstage (or wherever) and changed and then came back to perform. Every song was performed perfectly. It was amazing to see the instruments that were actually used for every song, because I actually just took it for granted when I listened to the music on iTunes and whatnot. Cathy’s violin playing was so beautiful, she had perfect form, and her vibrato was amazing. Leon’s trumpet playing was fantastic as well — I realized that on the album, the trumpet was quieter, but hearing it so loudly at the show with all the other instruments was grand. Every band member played various instruments (except Justin who was rocking the guitar and being hilarious the entire time). Cathy rotated between the keyboard, violin, glockenspiel, and some other instruments — she had to literally bend down to place her violin on the ground and then pick it back up in the middle of songs (all perfectly timed, of course). Simon played the guitar, the saxophone, and hit an actual bell for a song, as well as playing the synth. He and Leon had some great saxophone/trumpet duets. Amos was on the drums and sldkfjsd! there was just so much that I didn’t realize went into their songs. Amos had to play the drums while also picking up smaller percussion instruments to play (as well as sing) throughout the show. One of the things I remember clearly was definitely him playing the drums while shaking this maraca-like instrument on the beat. Every member of the band was singing while interchanging instruments — they are just incredibly talented.
    Simon took the liberty of teaching the crowd a few words of Swedish, and Justin was making fun of the drunk texting bitches next to us in the crowd. Just a few words about them — they were texting in the middle of the songs, randomly looking up to cheer and dance, applying their makeup in between songs, doing rude shit and Justin totally called them out, but they were too busy, again, texting. I was getting pretty angsty, I must admit, because she was shouting obscenities and Simon was nice enough to respond politely and even high-fived her.
    Right before the encore, I managed to steal a setlist, which is now sitting safely on the back cover of my binder. They played The Walls are Coming Down and I was just singing and dancing with a ridiculous smile on my face. I was just happy. Just so happy.


    Ha and I waited for the crowd around the merch table to die down so we could talk to Amos to get our stuff. When we did, he told us that he hadn’t had a chance to get Justin or Simon to sign our stuff just yet. He was so nice, he even apologized, saying “It’s my fault I procrastinated this! You guys can just hang out, I promise I’ll get these to you. I’ll be the one waving my arms like this!” (and he thus began to wave his arms for us). So we just hung out and talked to the members of Waterstrider. Walker was super friendly, asking us about Berkeley. We found out that Alex lived in Beverly Cleary of Unit 3! They signed Ha’s EP and just talked to us. Walker was very modest and was telling us how new he was to the whole “autographs” business. I got a chance to talk to Leon about his trumpet playing, and to Justin about his sass and the drunk bitches. ‘twas lovely.
    The entire venue was being cleared out, but Ha and I were able to stay behind cause Amos was still helping us get our stuff signed. I still am shocked by how dedicated he was. I felt guilty because he had just played an amazing set and was now running all around Slim’s trying to get us our posters and my shirt signed. He even took a picture with me in the middle of the rush. Needless to say, he’s my favorite Fanfarlo member. I tweeted him about it today…..

    We finally got our stuff, and we had to leave. We walked out and found a bus stop, but our phones were dead, so we just winged it. Nate and Sean walked by and said good night and we awkwardly responded. Then, 10 seconds later, they turn around and asked “Hey! Are you guys heading back to Berkeley?” We said yes, and they said “Yeah, this bus stop is shady. Come with us!” So we got in the car with them and drove to the venue to help them pack up. There, I talked to Bridey about ping pong, where I learned that NPR broadcasts ping pong matches. Nate did some crazy tetris shit when he fit the instruments and merch into the trunk so me and Ha could sit in their backseat. He told us that back in college, he had gone to a show and the band had given him a ride home, and therefore, we were to pass on the same favor if we were ever musicians.
    On the car ride, I asked a bit about the band, and they started talking about music. Sean played this really cool jazzy Sound of Music song, talked about how he liked to work for his drugs (I approve, Sean.) and we somehow ended up talking about protests and strikes. All the sudden, we’re in the car talking about the Occupy movement, the government, and just issues in the world. We came to the conclusion that the world needed to read more, that strikes bring awareness to issues (even though they’re disorganized) and other problems with protests. It was perfect. The insightful conversation and discussion I have been wanting to have since I got to Berkeley — with an amazing band.
    And thus ends my rant. If we hadn’t gotten lost after we got off the BART, or if we hadn’t left late, none of the things would had happened. For the first time in months, I was smiling (and I couldn’t stop). All the nights spent learning are worth it, but tonight was a clear indication as to why I should balance out my life a little more, a clear example as to why life, though sometimes shitty, is good.