Andy Hall causes storm of sound

Andy Hall causes storm of sound

The Tampa Bay area was greeted by a tempest even more passionate than Hurricane Isaac.  It was a storm of sounds.  It was an epic uproar of voices and instruments whose vibrations could be felt block after block.  It was a Manchester Orchestra concert, or more specifically, an Andy Hull concert on August 26.

Andy Hall is known to embody his passion through writing and performing for three separate musical endeavors.  Unfortunately, only one of his bands performed on that Saturday night at the State Theater. On the upside, the performing band, Manchester Orchestra, a project Andy had been working on since he was sixteen years old, happens to be one of the greatest.  Katherine Quimbayo, Cara Millburg, Sophie Gonzalez, and I had the privilege to bear witness to Andy’s beloved project.

Just as typical fanatics should, Sophie and I purchased tickets to this show a few months in advance, before the venue had even begun to sell them.  Once the tickets were in my possession, they were constantly under my watchful eye, for safe keeping.  Three days before the concert, I was surprised to come across a notification on Tumblr which informed me that I was the contest winner of two extra concert tickets.  I gave these tickets to my two friends, Cara and Katherine.

It was crucial for us, as fans, to be at the very front of the crowd during the show so the band could see us.  To do this, we arrived at the State Theater several hours prior to the 7:30pm show time. When the doors were finally opened,  elated Manchester Orchestra fans hurriedly filed through. The last stop was the ticket clerk at the door, who checked my name off and handed me the two extra tickets.

Although I had seen this band once before, nothing compared to the band’s performance on this summer night.  They played songs from every album they had ever put out and fooled everyone in the crowd by changing up the format they had listed on their set list.  Energy was shooting from every corner of the room. I had never seen a more impassioned, fierce look on a singer’s face, along with the voice that accompanied that passionate look.

The reaction of the small crowd was incredible; in fact, a few songs could not even be heard over the roars. The band performed a sped-up, alternative version to one song and two solo songs by Andy. He took the fans by surprise when he played an unreleased song from one of his other bands, Bad Books.

After the show, Katherine, Cara, Sophie, and I quickly fled to the parking lot behind the venue to wait for the band members to come out and load their gear into vans. We talked to the guitarists and the sound-tech, hoping that Andy would also make an appearance.

After waiting around for almost an hour, we finally spotted Andy, surrounded by his fans. Instead of pushing our way to the front of the pack, our little group simply stood on the outskirts for a short time and listened to what other people had to say to Andy Hull.  We were in utter shock when Andy turned to face Sophie and asked her, “How are you?” as if they were old friends.

The night ended perfectly when Andy took a photo with us and signed our ticket stubs.  As we drove home, thrilled by our concert experience, we finished the night off by listening to Manchester Orchestra on our journey back home.

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Andy Hall causes storm of sound