This show had been on my radar since it was announced earlier in the year, but I didn’t buy my ticket until a week before. Meanwhile, the date tickets for their May show in York went on sale I bought one. I don’t like going into downtown York, but I’ll make an exception for a Carbon Leaf gig, and I like going into Towson even less.
It’s the traffic circle. I don’t like the Towson traffic circle.
The last two times they played the Baltimore area — late February 2020 and early June 2021, both at Baltimore Soundstage — were the last live music event I saw before the COVID pandemic and the first live music event since it began, and in some weird ways June 2021, a mere nine months ago, feels in my mind as distant and remote as February 2020. Time and life are weird in these pandemic days.
I worked out of the office on Friday so I could go to the show after work, and after working all day on the text for the catalog’s manga section I definitely needed the show. I stayed a little late at the office — the doors didn’t open until 7, and the show wasn’t supposed to start until 8 — and killed time by working my way through the second season of Connor Ratliff’s podcast, Dead Eyes. And getting through the Towson traffic circle wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, though Google Maps’ directions to the parking garage left much to be desired.
The venue was nice. I had never been there before. The Recher is, I believe, a rehabbed old movie theater, transformed into a concert venue, and the motif has the feeling of a little bit of both.
There was a decent sized crowd — a couple hundred, easily — but my guestimation skills in this regard are poor, so I won’t even venture a guess as to the number. Very few people wearing masks. I did. I’m vaxxed and boosted. I still wear a mask at the office. You just don’t know.
I wore a University of Richmond t-shirt, since I first saw Carbon Leaf at a fraternity party there nearly twenty-five years ago. (September ’97, I think.) A group of guys about my age noticed and commented on it. They had attended Hampden-Sydney and have been fans of Carbon Leaf for almost as long as I have.
I saw someone who looked a great deal like Sean Lennon. He’s actually in the header photo above, wearing a Space Jam baseball cap backwards, at lower left. Was it Sean Lennon? Probably not. I certainly wasn’t going to bother him and ask if he was. 🙂
It was a good show. It started a little late, about 8:20, and there was no opening act. Oddly, for a Carbon Leaf set, they didn’t play “Mary Mac.” My only complaint was the stage lighting; I kept getting blasted dead in the eyes by the spotlights behind the band on stage, and I felt blinded half the time.
I am definitely not as young as I used to be, because I hurt Saturday. Honestly, it’s my own fault; the shoes I wore to the gig weren’t good for standing in for three-plus hours.
I thought about buying a t-shirt. I didn’t; I have a plastic tub in my closet that’s half-full with Carbon Leaf t-shirts I don’t wear. And I’m going to see them in two months anyway; I can buy a t-shirt then.
When I see Carbon Leaf in May, that’s going to be a busy week. Besides the start of writing July’s catalog at work, I’m looking at attending a baseball game in Towson — Richmond is visiting Towson on the afternoon of the 10th. Then, Carbon Leaf at the Appell Center in York on the 12th at 7:30. Then, a baseball game in Harrisburg; the Richmond Flying Squirrels are in town to take on the Senators.
Below are some photos. There’s no narrative to them. I can’t even match them up to individual songs. My phone camera gig photography is not good, it has never been good, but these are a few photos that turned out alright.
Two months until the next show!