[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Friday, August 14th, 2015

If the world were a just place, all children would have clean water to drink, JFK would have simply had a nice ride on that day in November, and Braid would draw much larger crowds. By all rights, Braid should be playing venues larger than the 250-capacity Local 506. But, alas, the world at large didn’t really embrace Braid the first time around so why should I think it would be anything different as Braid tuned up for their 665th show on Friday night. Sure, you can read about the lasting legacy of “Frame & Canvas” from the more hip media outlets plus all the positive reviews of the more recent “No Coast”, but it all simply comes down to how deeply you feel “The New Nathan Detroits” or “A Dozen Roses”. For this humble writer, the answer is, emphatically, “Very much so.”

Admittedly, I was a bit late to the Braid party myself. I first heard “Frame & Canvas” after Braid had initially split up. At the turn of the millennium, I was looking for the counterpoint to all the brutal metal that was rattling around between my eardrums. I ended up landing squarely in emo’s 2nd wave of the early-to-mid 90s, finding solace in (as described by Andy Greenwald) the “boy-driven, glasses-wearing, overly sensitive, overly brainy, chiming-guitar-driven college music” of bands such as Braid and their contemporaries. I vividly remember downloading “A Dozen Roses” and “Forever Got Shorter” off of Limewire and instantly falling in love. (Editor’s Note: You youngsters don’t know how good you have it these days, technologically speaking. When I look back at the state of the internet in the year 2000, it was as if we were rubbing two sticks together to make fire. “Mom! Hang up the phone! I’m on ‘the net‘!”)

Now, in my 33rd year, with the members of Braid closely on either side of 40, I wondered how finally seeing them live would strike me. Would it rekindle the pensive ennui of my late teen years or has that ship sailed after 15 years of being dragged down by the weight of existence? Would I even remember the lyrics to “Killing a Camera” or would I be hoping the show would end at a reasonable hour so that I could make the drive back to Raleigh? Luckily, it all came rushing back to me like “a dream for the teens and in-betweens and twenties yet unseen”.

From the the opening chords of “Bang” to Bob’s in-your-face sing-along with the biggest fan in the crowd, it was apparent why Braid decided to give it another go: They are still having fun. The set consisted of mostly equal parts “No Coast” and “Frame & Canvas” with a couple of other hits in the mix. (I didn’t think to document the setlist. I was too busy drinking Shiner Bocks and dancing to the soundtrack of my youth. Maybe some hero will post it to Setlist.fm in a few days.)

As the sweat of another humid summer night in NC poured off their faces, Braid left for a brief moment prior to heading back in for the encore. Fans were calling out the titles of a variety of old songs (even their cover of the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”, which Braid actually attempted playing for a few bars, then quickly realized they had forgotten how that one went) before they settled into a 3-song encore, concluding with “The Chandelier Swing” off of “The Age of Octeen”.

4/5 stars – As I made for the door after Braid waved their goodbyes, I couldn’t help but appreciate the bonus to such a lovely evening of reminiscence: It was only 11pm. I’d be back in Raleigh before midnight! Swing away, Braid. Swing away.

-Negadave[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”298″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow” onclick=”img_link_large” img_link_target=”_blank” css_animation=”appear”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”296″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow” onclick=”img_link_large” img_link_target=”_blank” css_animation=”appear”][/vc_column][/vc_row]