[Photo credit: Sabrina Moffly]
is a band I love. In high school I would listen to their album, The House That Dirt Built
relentlessly (and I still do). When they were coming to perform at Webster Hall in NYC I was super excited to get to see them perform a whole set live. Turns out none of my friends are as excited about The Heavy or the prospect of going to Webster Hall, due to an unfortunate Fourth of July attempted mugging experience at Webster. So I ended up at the concert by myself with nothing but a camera and a beer.
As I arrived, the floor was filled with awkward guys and their girlfriends (or the women they wish were their girlfriends). Needless to say, this was not what I expected from a rock concert crowd. So the opening act, The Ramona Flowers, came and went in a flurry of rock with some electronic tossed in for good measure. Then the cool kids slowly trickled in and busily spent the opening act getting lubricated at the bar with Webster Hall's special of a beer and a mystery shot. In all their rock and roll finery with black lipstick and dirty t-shirts that somehow look so cool but would make me look like an unkempt mess. Plus the cool underage kids attempting to get booze from friendly legal individuals. There was also a selection of diehard fans, like myself, wearing The Heavy tshirts and truly buzzing with excitement. All together an odd bunch.
My camera and I weaseled my way to the front right up against the stage. This was much to the displeasure of a women standing near there, who had decided the free space was also hers. But since I was alone I could simply sneak my way right up there not having to worry about ditching someone. She then proceeded to attempt to cough spit in my beer. She missed. I chugged my beer and happily stood in front of her.
The crowd was pretty tame till the lights went down when everyone lost it. The band came one and started right into "Can't Play Dead." The Heavy's lead singer, Kelvin Swaby, hyped up the crowd for the next hour and a half pretty much non stop. And it also helps that The Heavy's music is rock with heavy funk, soul, and hip hop influences and the goal to be loud. The band started off with some of their newer tracks from Hurt and The Merciless
and then moved on to music from their older albums which really got the crowd going. The little bit of magic that Swaby does when he is performing is he is constantly running back and forth from the stage to get everyone into the music. Plus every song in their set seemed to require audience participation whether it was howling to "Big Bad Wolf" or singing along with "Last Confession" by yelling "Don't try and save me." Everyone from the awkward guys to the cool rocker chicks knew every single word to every song. Although I was at the concert alone, everyone was as excited to see the band as I was, cue warm fuzzies for rock and roll and fans of The Heavy. During the show there was no more trying to spit in people's drinks, just enjoying the music and charisma of Swaby and occasionally lighting up, because it was still a rock concert.
The band ended the concert with an epic rendition of their most famous song, "How Do You Like Me Now" by bringing out an additional horn trio to help in bringing down the house. They had the whole ballroom jumping and singing along, even the disinterested photographers with fancy cameras.
The moral of the story here is, it's totally fine to go to one of your favorite band's concerts alone. You won't have to be worried about a friend being bored or shocked by some lady flashing the band and you can instead just enjoy the band and the music.