Local group Astral Samara was the first to take the stage on Friday night. To say these guys were weird and eccentric would be an understatement but it left me intrigued. Their sound was almost like a bunch of soundscapes that had all been mashed together to form one cohesive song. At times, it felt like a jumbled mess and I couldn’t quite figure it out but there were other times when everything seemed to come together perfectly. The music felt spacey, almost like white noise at times but it had energy to it.
Michigander from (you guessed it) Michigan was up next and instantly had me sold with their clean yet fun indie-pop songs. Jason, the singer, had an unimaginable level of passion and emotion as he sang through the band’s set. All of the members seemed to share that passion and it made for a spectacular show to watch and even feel. Their music was catchy but not too catchy as to feel generic. Majority of the set was upbeat and, even when Jason asked the crowd to settle down so he could sing one of the band’s slower songs, there was still that sense of energy that had me hooked from the very first note they played. Michigander came off as real people with real problems and a real passion and that right there made for a really great set.
I thought that Michigander had stolen the show. I mean, how could you top that feeling of passion? But then Flint Eastwood took the stage and to say I was blown away would be an understatement.
I had never heard of Jax Anderson, AKA Flint Eastwood, before the show last night. Let’s be honest though, if you saw a band name of Flint Eastwood wouldn’t you be a little intrigued? I had read a little bit about the band but it honestly didn’t quite sound like something I’d be interested in. I apologized to my friends that had joined in for the night because I didn’t know what to expect. A couple of my friends that I had conned into coming to the show with me were definitely metal heads and I was worried that they would be heading towards the door within minutes, if not seconds. Within the first couple of notes of Flint Eastwood’s set, I looked at my mis-matched group of friends and every single one of them had put their drinks down and had their jaws on the ground.
Jax’s beauty and power radiated off of the stage. She had a sense of power that was more than enough to make you stop dead in your tracks. It seemed like the entirety of the modest crowd had been shocked with her first couple of notes but quickly warmed up and started dancing around to the upbeat music. Flint Eastwood’s music was had undertones of indie-pop that were wrapped up in a bow of EDM beats. It was upbeat and dancey while still having an undeniable sense of conviction and passion. It was truly unlike anything I had ever heard before.
Although there were three band members on stage, Jax effortlessly commanded the crowd’s attention and all eyes seemed to be on her throughout their set. She had this sense of beauty (both inside and out) about her without her even trying. She wasn’t wearing anything skimpy or flashy. Honestly, she looked like she had just stepped out of an Amish community with a black dress, black pants, and a red, very wide rimmed hat on with her long strawberry blonde braided pigtails falling over her shoulders but her beauty was apparent as soon as she started singing. I don’t think there was a single minute during her set where she didn’t have a giant smile on her face that was mirrored by the audience members. The smile that seemed to be a permanent fixture on her face was one of the most genuine smiles I have ever seen and same could be said for the smiles on the audience member’s faces.
Towards the end of the set, Jax addressed the crowd with a speech that truly hit me right in the heart. She told the crowd to “exist in the moment” and talked about living for your passion. It was one of those speeches that I have heard no less than a million and twelve times but, for some reason, it hit me harder last night than it had in the past. It was easy to see that she truly meant what she was saying. Hell, you could feel what she was saying and everything about the moment was beautiful.
As the show ended and Jax left the stage, I noticed one of my metalhead friends was the first one to pull her aside and thank her for her music, passion, and beauty. That right there should say everything you need to know about how truly amazing and inspirational she was throughout the night. Even though I go to a show almost every night and have met more musicians that I can count, I rarely get a picture with them but something was different about last night. My friends and I gathered around Jax for a picture and after the picture was taken, she made it a point to ask us our names and thank us for coming. There was nothing fake about that moment. She commented on one of my friend’s hair color saying how amazing it was and I got the typical, “What a unique name!” comment. She looked at us dead in the eyes as she shook our hands and thanked us. It sound stupid, dumb, little, whatever but, in that moment it meant absolutely everything.
To put it simply, Flint Eastwood is a must see band. Friday night’s set was definitely the best set I’ve seen yet this year and will more than likely make some of my “Best of 2017” lists.