Fanfarlo, The Casbah: 11/24/2009

“Are there any free Twitter tickets left?” I said greeting Ben at the door of the Casbah, while rolling in late, around 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday night.

“Just say the words,” he responded.

As I recited, “Free the Turkeys,” he stamped the inside of my wrist, granting my entrance to my chapel.

The Casbah offers free tickets nearly every Tuesday through giveaways on Twitter, offering a secret password to gain access to the show for a limited number of entries. It slightly feels like an old speakeasy but it’s all legal and no one is really hiding anything.

I arrived right after Freelance Whales finished their set. Since I had no prior knowledge of either of the bands playing that night before coming to this show (or so I thought, as you will see), I didn’t really know what I would be missing. I was out on a whim. It wasn’t until after the show that I found that Freelance Whales was listed as Stereogum’s Band to Watch at the end of September 2009. From the conversations I had on the smoking patio and the back bar, they were a perfect match with Fanfarlo (the headlining band), and yes, I really did miss something good.

Drawn into the main room by the harking sounds of mandolin and trumpet, I was certain that I would be in for a perfromance that I actually would dig (yeah, I said dig).

The symphonic melodies surrounded your senses, knocking out your heart with the beat of two drums. The trumpet and keys fill your lungs with a sense of anticipation and hope. The lyrics and harmonies caused my mind to drift away like a small sail boat on the ocean into the setting sun.

Fanfarlo captured the audience similar to finding a lost puppy to take it back home, showing them the good in the world through their music.

It wasn’t until halfway throught the show that I had figured out that I had heard Fanfarlo before. “The Walls Are Coming Down” sounded echoes from the past that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The trumpets swelled and ebbed in dreamlike sequences through your head. The violin and xylophone twinkled like stars in the night sky swirling with catchy lyrics.

It wasn’t until the following day that I realized exactly where I had heard “The Wall Are Coming Down” before. I kept thinking, maybe a new song on FM94.9 but I don’t recall ever hearing it while in my car which is about the only time I listen to the radio. I was also thinking that maybe it was one of the albums given to us by our friend Lyn, as she send us a lot of albums. But if that was the case, I would have recognized more than one song in the set. Then I discovered and confirmed that it was from listening to the Paste Magazine Sampler: Issue 55 (August 2009).

The night proved to be a surprisingly positive, uplifting experience… as well as extremely cheap. I spent less then $20 for an amazing show, three beers, a CD and a poster. Ridiculous. I love my town, my bar, my life…

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