On a blindingly personal note, Terminal 5 is a weird place. It's really large, there are impossible waits for the bathroom, and they play "Sandstorm" in between acts (kinda like prom). Nevertheless, The Lonely Forest impressed every recipient bathed in the venue's over-saturated colorful lights. Jumping into the set with their worthy hit "Turn Off the Music and Go Outside", singer John Van Dusen's vocals soared in the warehouse space. The lyric "I feel we can relate on some of these words I've written down" visibly melted the hearts of a number of bright-eyed fangirls nestled nearest to the stage. All gracious smiles, The Lonely Forest joyously tumbled through a set heavy with songs from their latest album Arrows, including the rebounding "Coyote", which particularly jams before turning to an introspective guitar outro. Devout fans howled at just the right moment and those who weren't so sure similarly opened up loud. That instance solidified the impact a band like The Lonely Forest has upon its listeners—their reliable rock songs inspire inclusion, i.e. it's way more fun to sing along especially if you don't know the words.
The Lonely Forest closed out the show with "Tunnels" and finally "We Sing in Time", inciting shrieks as the song reminded us of the guy's origins, the textured and beautiful landscape of northern Washington—an imagery I see reflected in their performances, the emotion transmitted to their listeners. Overheard after the show, one girl says to her friend: "they seriously just keep getting better!" Looking forward to CMJ, I urge you to see how much better they are at their next show at the Mercury Lounge on 10/18.