When Ten Years finished announcing the dates for their tour I was so incredibly pissed off since their closest show was in Las Vegas, and as a California resident this just was not real convenient. Of course things went from bad to worse; it was on a Thursday, ok I can handle that, we will have a family adventure and take off Friday. Oh, Zoe has a flute show on Thursday, I can go without her. Wow, I have to work Friday? That makes things difficult. Hell if I can handle a Protest the Hero moshpit at 50 years old I can do a Vegas turnaround at 51. And so it was born; the 16 hour Vegas road trip for Hank and I.
Of course things really took off after Hank posted our plans when we found we got to take Kyle’s girlfriend to Vegas and surprise him….she was smart…she stayed the weekend. Arie was the greatest of company and spared Hank and I from entertaining each other the entire time. Good news for Hank…I am just not really that interesting.
At this point you probably want to know if I am ever going to talk about the show, and indeed I am. But you had to know the context, since despite a 600 mile round trip to the show, Ten Years made every second of that show worthwhile. I cannot say I have become an acoustic show fan yet (not quite ready for that walker), but what I can say is that I have become a much greater fan of 10 Years after seeing and hearing what they are capable of doing.
Ten Years is probably the most versatile band in rock and roll today. They can absolutely rock the house as they did at the Key Club last year. They write the most beautiful music and combine that with deep and meaningful lyrics. And, they can sing the most haunting love songs that tell great stories and move you deeply, such as Forever Fields and Beautiful. To listen to 10 Years extensively you cannot help but wonder why they are not headlining shows at the Honda Center or Madison Square Gardens. They are that good. Jesse’s voice is so incredibly powerful and so movingly sweet all at the same time. Tater and l.llllllll can make you cry in one song, and make you mosh the next. And the bass player seemed ready every moment to get up off his chair and start headbanging, where he definitely seems more natural.
Another aspect of the acoustic show that was very enjoyable was the comfort the band members seemed to have together on stage. Jesse joked with everyone, giving touring drummer Kyle a hard time, then getting the audience to “show his some love”. Kyle proves to really belong with the band as his drumming and keyboard were as versatile as the band itself. Tater and Jesse bantered the entire time and entertained the audience with their comedic whit.
Finally when it was time for the opening set to end, rather than force a crowd to scream for an encore Jesse sang a capella and finally the band returned to sing two covers. Now I normally hate cover songs as I really want to hear 10 Years not someone else, but Jesse singing Folsom Blues was a real treat that the audience truly appreciated. It was just another feather in the cap of, “can this band really do everything, and do all of it really well?” the answer so far seems to be hell yes….ok except booking shows……ever heard of California? It is the place I had to drive home to after the show. I did get home at 4:15 am, and after a two hour nap I got to have one of those special days at work. I teach high school, and if you have ever thought 14 and 15 year olds are energetic, try teaching them after two hours sleep.
The good news? I got to see one of the most amazing bands in history play a truly moving acoustic show. I got to go to Vegas. I got to teach class on Friday after no sleep….and I had tickets to see The Sword that very night. Ahhhhh, middle age kicks ass dude!!!
Dan Adler was raised in Southern California to a mom and dad, one of whom appreciated Creedence and left wing anti-war politics. By the teenage years, Dan became obsessed with Black Sabbath, listening to the same seven albums repeatedly for 5 years. During this time, his favorite concert experience was seeing Metallica open for a bunch of bands that no longer exist and winning the 1st ever Santa Cruz Air Guitar contest. After several years in Africa listening and dancing to Chimurenga music, Dan returned to have the two best children in the world, one of whom spends a lot of time at concerts with him. What a lucky dad!