This is the personal blog of Adam J. Schirling, the founder and editor-in-chief of Drunken Absurdity, a revolutionary ezine. For the best in alternative literature, poetry, art, movies and more go to This blog is strictly for my personal rants, some dirty pics, and the occasional cool story or sweet tunes.

An amazing show on a Tues night in Pawtucket

>> Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Last week my email suddenly alerted me to an upcoming show at the Met in Pawtucket. There has been a slow go of it lately for us RI residents. I grew up in Las Vegas, used to seeing shows once a week at The Huntridge, The Castle, The HOB, and The Joint. Now, at 27 years old I am lucky to see a 1/2 dozen shows a year; especially stranded here in the Northeast. But yet, here was an alert that Chris Conley would be playing at the Met.

Let me explain my history with this amazing artist. I was 14 when I first bought a Saves the Day CD. I instantly loved them, and they have remained in my top 5 favorite bands since then. In my late teens, they was an influx of STD shows at the HOB, and every one endeared me to the band more. It was always a joke that STD was really the "Chris Conley Show" as the members have been swapped and replaced so many times over the years. But none of that mattered. As awesome as the various STD alumni were, Chris always remained the driving talent and influence of the band.

Fast forward a few years, and here I am living in Providence, RI for reasons familiar to my readers. I'm no longer the hungry eager scene kid I was a decade ago. I have kids of my own now. I have been to war. But still when shows come come, I always try my best to make it out. I suppose there will reach an age one day when I blatantly stick out of the crowd as that 'old guy' still going to the shows, and earn a head shake of pity from the new crowd; but at 27 I am not quite there yet thankfully. I saw Chris play last year at the Middle East in Boston with the "Where's The Band Tour". This amazing show had Chris, Dustin from Thrice, Anthony from Bayside, and Matt from the Get Up Kids playing acoustic sets in a small, basement venue that brought me back to the Huntridge shows on my youth. I left Boston that night thinking that seeing Chris Conley in that light was a once in a lifetime experience.....

But then, here I was on a warm winter night in 2012 standing in a small venue in Pawtucket, RI waiting for the man himself to come on stage. When I bought the tickets, I was not TOO familiar with the opening bands, but I was pleasantly surprised with both "The Roman Numeral Three" and "The Northern Lands". Great bands, from Taunton and Providence, respectfully, they played energetic sets of catchy and likeable, albeit sometimes simple songs. But aren't those always the best songs that fans of such local bands love? Of particular note was "The Last of the Shipbuilders" by "Northern Lands". An amazing tune of good depth that portrayed both the feeling of desperation of the recession and the talent of the band.

At ten pm, the main event came on. A single wooden chair was put onstage, and out emerged Mr. Conley; looking not that different than he has in any other show of the past decade I have watched. My friends and I always joked that Chris didn't ever age past 21, and seeing him this close tonight made me laugh and think of those drunk conversations. Then something unexpected happen....

Conley had put on his Twitter feed earlier that he would be taking requests. I thought this would be limited to one fan request he would pick out from his TL. But then, he sat in the chair, looked into a small sea of eager faces, and asked for requests. And the fans reacted with a roar, your humble narrator included. The third song he played ended up being " Sell My Old Clothes", my absolute favorite and a song I have not heard live since 2010 when Saves the Day opened for NFG in Vegas. The rest of the show ended up being an amazing selection of songs from the band's extensive catalog, filled with B-sides and fan faves. The energy of the crowd was electric, and even the random people who had wandered in curious as to who Conley was were sweating and swaying with the crowd by the time the last song was played 90 mins after taking the stage.

Even 12 years after first seeing an amazing band called Saves the Day play in my hometown, Chris Conley remains an artist of the people. I have never seen a singer/songwriter who seemed so in tune with his fans, and eager to please their demands. An amazing show tonight for sure, and I look forward to (hopefully!) another 12 years of watching Chris and the band play my favorite songs.

Editors note: Chris, if you are reading, thank you for playing "Sell my old Clothes" and "Holly Hox", my absolute favorites, and they meant a lot to me.


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Freelance writer and poet. Founder and Editor in Chief of Drunken Absurdity. President of Drunken Absurdity LLC

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