Live review: The Lights Fluorescent, 2013 Wolves, Appalucia, Nesh



The Lights Fluorescent, 2013 Wolves, Appalucia, Nesh

The Milestone

May 13, 2011

The Deal: Ian Stroupe, one of the sound guys at the Milestone has been a good friend of mine for quite some time. Last year, he turned 21 and the Milestone threw him a crazy party that involved copious amounts of booze, rad music, fun times and a Shake-weight birthday present that everyone ended up taking provocative pictures with. So this year, when I found out that Ian was going to be having another birthday party at the Milestone, I immediately marked my calendar and began getting pumped for the night to come. When the bill was finalized, I realized that Nesh, Appalucia, 2013 Wolves and a Lights Fluorescent reunion would guarantee that our musical tastes would be deliciously fed as well.

The Good: As a dim, blue, smoky glow carried the dusty air above him, Atlanta’s Nesh took the stage and rejuvenated the growing crowd from socializing and drinking to complete captivation. Nesh’s music was as peaceful and content as the moment we were experiencing. His vibrato voice and light guitar riffs were lullabies that rained on the crowd provoking the feeling of laying in a spring meadow as the breeze carries you away. It was like sinking into a bath of pudding. Considering Nesh is Ian’s brother and amazingly talented and original, he was the perfect opener for the festivities to come in celebration of Ian’s birth.

The lights changed to a red haze that shined down on the birthday boy as he brought out his stand-up bass to play for Appalucia. As these six boys’ country, bluegrass with a punk-rock attitude normally makes you want to drink, during a celebration, with the center of our attention in the spotlight; it was intensified to an indescribable degree. They opened up their set with the drinking jam, “Liquor House (right now)” and with that being said, I’m sure you can understand where their set took us all that didn’t have to drive that night. Bodies began moving to the impromptu set list that was at Ian’s command and we jammed the night away into a blur of chaos as the Milestone turned into a mess of sweaty bodies.

Our area of demand changed as 2013 Wolves set-up to play the casbah. People flooded into the room as the first notes were plucked, sending everyone into a frenzy of liquored-up head banging to their one-of-a-kind southern punk rock. Neal MF Harper and Robert Childers took their stance, feeding off of each other’s energy as per typical during one of their sets. As Neal leaned in towards Robert, vigorously strumming his guitar, Robert’s clashing drums carried our heads back and forth and our fists to the air. By the end of every 2013 Wolves set, I seriously want to smash something but considering it was a celebration, I made my way to the birthday boy to rock out, appreciating the sweaty atmosphere of a place packed full of individuals there to pay respect to another year of his existence.

Before The Lights Florescent were even finished setting up, the big room became packed to the teeth with people that had anticipated hearing their music live again after they split last summer. They were certainly missed by us as their music had quite a following around town. While their indie sound radiated throughout the room, the crowd did not hesitate to move to the synthed-out beat and sing along to Erika’s beautiful voice. The entire room was united, jumping and dancing and in love with the moment so much that even after a particularly long set, we didn’t want it to end. I hope to God that if Erika ever moves back to Charlotte, they reform forever because now that I have seen them again, I am reminded of what beautiful and energetic music we have lost.

The Bad: Considering that the party went on until last call, those of us that had a Designated Driver that night certainly had a rough morning ahead of water, Advil and cursing alcohol.

The Verdict: Ian Stroupe is an awesomely hilarious, fun person that manages to tickle our ears on a regular basis with his sound guy skills and bass talent in multiple bands. He is certainly worthy of a fantastic party and celebration of his existence to this extent. I cannot thank the bands enough for making the night such a memorable one, regardless how much booze was fed to us all. Especially The Lights Fluorescent for taking us back to their land of musical delight one more time. Even though there was no Shake Weight this year, the music and festivities involved make this a hard birthday bash to top. I can’t wait until next year.

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