Artist: Carbon Leaf
Venue: Radio Radio Indianapolis
Date: Sunday, October 19, 2014
Set List (again, dismally out of order, and potentially not complete, but as usual, I forgot to make notes so this is the best I could remember the next day):
What About Everything?
Life Less Ordinary
Love Rain Down
The Donnybrook Affair
Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle
When I'm Alone
Raise the Roof
One Prairie Outpost
She's Gone (...For Good This Time)
Two Aging Truckers
Tombstone vs. Ashes
Let Your Troubles Roll By
Last night we broke from tradition and, instead of going south to Nashville, we headed north to Indianapolis for our second Carbon Leaf show. The first time we saw them live (in Nashville) was so stinking good, we were super excited to see them again. For this tour, they're on the road in support of their latest release, Indian Summer Revisited. Because a record company the band is no longer associated with owns the master recordings of their beloved 2004 release Indian Summer, they decided to re-record the album so the ownership of the songs and the recordings is now with the band, where it belongs.
This was the only show I've been to (that I can think of) that didn't have an opener and I was really okay with that. I mean yes, I've found some of my favorite artists via them opening for other people, but sometimes it's nice to skip the formality and just get down to business. It seemed like there was a quite a wait between when the doors opened and when Barry, Terry, Carter, Jon and Jason took the stage, but good company (and perhaps a bit of vodka) made the wait totally enjoyable. This was our first time at Radio Radio which is a neat little venue in downtown Indianapolis. With a 250 person capacity, a beautiful glass-topped bar and plentiful seating, it's a cozy place perfect for an intimate show.
When it was time for Carbon Leaf to take the stage, they did so with seemingly boundless energy and crowd support, just like the last time we saw them. The set list was heavy with songs off Indian Summer, which is cool because they're all crowd favorites. However, this time it seemed that they were playing them with such renewed vigor, they felt like brand new songs. It seemed as though, in working with them so extensively, the band had breathed new life into these songs and the audience reciprocated that. Personally, I was excited to hear them perform "Paloma" and "When I'm Alone", a couple of my favorites. They are both such beautiful songs and it was amazing to ride along on the ebb and flow of them.
While they stayed primarily in the newer albums, they did dip back in the catalog and pulled out "Comfort" from Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat and crowd favorite "The Boxer" from Echo, Echo. Both songs were apparently well known by the crowd and we all sang along enthusiastically. The sing-along aspect of the evening reached its peak during "One Prairie Outpost" during which Barry was able to stop singing completely and just let us handle that for him. I love when that happens, but I have to say that my favorite part of a Carbon Leaf show is when they all gather around one microphone. Sometimes the songs they play in this format get a bit lost in the chatter of the rude people in the back of the room, but I still love them if only because the band seems the happiest playing around a single mic like that and it's fun to be a part of it.
Just as the last time we saw them, they closed with the absolutely perfect "Let Your Troubles Roll By". I'm not sure I've ever heard a better song to close with. After the show, I visited the merch table and picked up one of the few Carbon Leaf albums I didn't already have. Because the guys always mingle in the crowd after shows, I was able (with a lot of encouragement from my friends who are much cooler characters than I am) to speak to all five of the band members and get their autographs. They're all incredibly friendly and, even after all these years performing, they seem truly grateful that people come out and listen and enjoy their shows. I had a lot of things I wanted to say about how wonderful the show was and how amazing Indiana Summer Revisited is, but I'm mostly just happy (and eternally grateful to my friends) that I even manged to talk to them and not say anything too embarrassing. This was the last show for us for the foreseeable future, and I can't think of a better way to wrap up the year.