“Fuck the weekdays. Every day’s a weekend. Fuck the weekdays. Every day’s a weekend” the crowd began chanting with the band as they took the stage around 11:30. And for the next 90 minutes that Akron/Family engaged us with their intoxicating, intensely captivating, folk-inspired, psychedelic, experimental music, everyone there seemed to forget that it was in fact a Monday night, quite possibly the worst day of the week.
Akron/Family have a gift. During their set, they had a way of making the entire crowd move their feet and get down unlike very few crowds I have seen recently. At the same time, the trio had a way of captivating the audience’s attention during quieter songs, making the venue nearly silent at moments. They had a control over the audience that was almost creepy at times, but incredibly cool. The amount of participation and enthusiasm from the crowd was astonishing.
From the moment Akron/Family walked on the stage, everyone’s focus turned to the band. I was taken back by how quiet the room got so quickly, and I immediately stopped talking to my friend next to me for fear of being heard by someone across the room and subsequently shushed. The band started with “River” and as soon as the song picked up, the crowd broke out into one giant dance party, and it didn’t stop until after one in the morning.
A friend mentioned to me that while most bands get onstage and play their songs for an eager crowd, Akron/Family didn’t just play their songs, but rather they played and created music. I couldn’t agree more, and perhaps that was why it was such an engaging and enriching performance. All of the band members sing and they all play several instruments, and watching them, you could tell they weren’t just regurgitating chords and lyrics from their many albums. Rather, they were creating music as they went.
I sometimes have a hard time staying focused with experimental music, especially when it’s played at an incredibly late hour in an extremely dark venue. However, Akron/Family had my complete attention during its entire set, and they had me hanging on every move.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I sure was on a high from that show as we walked out into the cold, and it wasn’t until I was in my car and looked at the clock on the dashboard that I realized it wasn’t a Friday or Saturday night. It was a Monday night and I had to wake up for work in just five hours.
Fuck the weekdays.