Friday Night in Towson

Friday night, Carbon Leaf played The Recher in Towson.

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!

At the Recher, before the Carbon Leaf show.
I’ve arrived! And to prove that I’m here, I’ve arrived!
The interior of The Recher
Inside the Recher
The beginning of the Carbon Leaf show. The band is performing "Gifts from the Crows."
The show begins!
Carter Gravett on the guitar
Carter Gravett, guitar god
Carbon Leaf performing, The Recher, March 18, 2022.
“Desperation Song”? This might have been “Desperation Song.”
Carbon Leaf performing, The Recher, March 18, 2022.
The grand finale, “Let Your Troubles Roll By.”

Published by Allyn Gibson

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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