It must have been like the NFL Draft when Other Lives got the call to be the opener for Radiohead on their current tour. I'm sure there were hugs exchanged, maybe some tears, but smiles all around. Of course, there weren't any million dollar contracts or endorsement deals but there would still be some parallels. There would be plenty of practice, numerous interviews, guest appearances, and of course, performing in front of thousands in some of the largest and most prestigious arenas in all of the land. I'm sure it's been a whirlwind ride.
That whirlwind brought the Stillwater, OK band to Dallas and the American Airlines Center (AAC). But the band also hand a little get together at Good Records the night before they were to play the AAC. Upon the Astroturf (really, Good Records has Astroturf, it's not another sports analogy), the band took up the entire stage with their gear and bodies. With friends, family, and even Josh T. Pearson, the whipped up a fantastic set of songs, most of which from their latest effort, Tamer Animals. With their roots in folk, the band explores the deepest parts of emotion, blending their vast array of instruments to form rich, winding soundscapes that are capped off nicely by Jesse Tabish's floating vocals. The set seemed to last forever, though I know it was no more than a handful of songs. The band was very gracious, thanking those in attendance numerous times. You could tell they were sincere.
A mere 24 hours later, I found myself at the footsteps of the AAC, a Goliath of a building, with a capacity of over 19,000; Good Records can hold a hundred on a good day. The environment was much different and the crowd much more diverse. But you could tell those who have seen Other Lives, they really appreciated their music and were really pulling for them. As the massive line was forming at the General Admission entrance, Mr. Tabish exited the AAC to meet up with some family across at a restaurant. As he was walking past the crowd, a hundred or so of the patient fans began clapping and a few gave cheers of excitement. Again, you could tell he was very humbled, stopping to hold his hands together and thanked the crowd. It was a good moment. After the masses had entered the arena, people stood at the ready, waiting for some music. I kept hearing people asking "who's the opener", to which people would reply "Other Lives, I hear they're really good". That they are. After a slight delay, the band took the stage to a heavy applause and jumped right into their half-hour set. After hearing them the night before, you really noticed their sound translated just as well in a large environment as it would if they were playing in the smallest of clubs. The music soared over the thousands of fans, filling every void in the AAC with flourishing melodies and full, robust sound. I only got to hear the first three songs, as I was whisked away from the photo pit back to the press area and didn't make it back in time to hear the rest of their set. But gauging from the crowd's response and post-performance conversations, they must have did a fantastic job. Photos and videos of the shows are below:
American Airlines Center