I've loved Okkervil River for a lot of years now, and this was the 4th time I've seen them in some form or another. It's too bad that the whole band wasn't there, but the intimacy of the venue and all of the things that happened because of that marks this show as one of my favorites of all time. It was at Old St. Pancras Church, a tiny church that has been there since the 4th century and which if you recall I recently blogged about, and I got there pretty early, as I do, and got a seat right at the front.
The show itself was nice and quiet. Everyone stayed seated for most of it, which was great because I've not been feeling well lately and i didn't have to stand up that whole time. I sat next to a girl from Italy with a really lovely thick British accent (who I will refer to as L.), who happens to be friends with Patrick, Okkervil River's bassist, who was also there with Will. She and I struck up a friendly conversation that made the hour or so wait fly by, and Patrick kept coming over to talk to her, which was exciting for me.
The performance was fantastic. The lighting and sound were crap but it didn't matter because we were all so close anyway. It was very intimate, and at one point, for "A Stone", one of my favorite songs, he started wandering into the audience and was standing directly in front of me. Like 2 feet away. And the song was beautiful. He sang it slowly and sumptuously and even added an extra verse. Everyone was enthralled. I couldn't help but me tremendously moved, and after the song everyone exploded in applause that lasted forever. It was such a perfect moment.
For the encore Will came out and played "For Real" on a little old piano at the back of the church. Everyone got up and gathered around the piano and L. and I were standing on some chairs. I had left my coat and scarf on my chair, and when i came back, underneath scarf was the SET LIST. Someone put it there! You can imagine my delighted surprise. Who put it there? and why? I thought maybe L. did but she was with me the whole time. So i folded it and put it in my pocket, with a stupid grin plastered to my face.
After the show Patrick and Will were out talking to people, including L. so I kind of pushed my way into the circle and L. introduced me to both of them. (I didn't tell Will that we had met before in Salt Lake when I chased him into a bathroom). But it gets better. After I met Will, Patrick asked me if I liked the little gift he hid for me. After a second, it clicked. The set list! he put it there!! Happy birthday me!!! I stuck around with L and some american dudes and after Patrick had helped pack up the gear he came out and talked to us for a little while. As he was saying goodbye to us and he gave me a hug and said "I'm happy I got to be your little elf." I think I died right there.
It was a lovely night, a lovely show with fantastic people. I was smiling the whole time and couldn't help but think how awesome my life is right now. I did record some video, but it didn't turn out so well so I'm not going to post it. I wish the lighting had been a bit better, and I also realized this morning that I should have got a picture with Will, and it never crossed my mind. Oh well. Next time. And there will be a next time because they're going to be here in May! And hopefully I'll get to go with L. Can't wait.