Music is a funny thing in that the context in which it's heard often determines one's opinion of it. You might have a deep love of a song because you first heard it during the best summer of your lifetime, but someone who lives in the same town might hate it because their first experience with it may have been during a time when they were going through a break-up. Our memories of life at the time we were listening to certain bands and artists can ultimately shape our opinion of them.
For me, Scottish 5-piece Frightened Rabbit is one of those bands for which I have a soft spot. They were one of the first bands I discovered when I was learning about the world of music beyond radio rock. I listened to their 2008 album The Midnight Organ Fight on repeat for months, and it ultimately helped guide the music I immersed myself in the rest of that year. Their latest album, Pedestrian Verse, is far and away one of my favorite releases of this year. And I haven't yet had the opportunity to see them live. That's the context I'm bringing to their show at Bogart's tonight.
Understanding the context in which the artist creates their music can also help shape one's understanding of it. For example, knowing that Frightened Rabbit is heavily influenced by US-based Americana artists like Wilco and Ryan Adams might change the way you interpret their sound. Hearing that Pedestrian Verse is the first Frightened Rabbit album that frontman Scott Hutchison relinquished a significant amount of control in the writing to the rest of his bandmates, and yet calls it "the best album we've ever made" might change the way you listen to the band's discography. Knowing that the Frightened Rabbit has a whole image gallery on their website titled "Beards" or that they aim to "keep pop music alive by getting it out of that dress and into a sweater" might help you understand that though their music often tackles serious subject matter, these Scots are bunch of goofs. And hearing that each US tour they do is bigger, louder, and rowdier than the last might convince you to come out to see them play.
My hope is that the context in which Frightened Rabbit perceives Cincinnati tonight is that our music fans are loud, enthusiastic, and make a great crowd.
Who: Frightened Rabbit & The Twilight Sad
When: 7P Doors, 8P Show