I got pretty hammered at this show and was way too hungover to write a report. So I’m going to write a simple one now, just for my own enjoyment. This is going to be pretty bad.
1.Miss America: Nathaniel Rateliff’s backing band, containing all the same members as Fairchildren (who just recorded a fantastic Daytrotter session, by the way). Lead by Joseph Pope III and backed by, among others, Julie Davis on drums and vocals. Miss America is pretty amazing live.
2.Joseph is a really strong writer, and to advance that even further the band employed some serious 3-4 part harmonies.
3.Julie is adorable and also, it turns out, a completely badass drummer/vocalist.
4.The two of them have such chemistry on and off stage that I assume their dating. Both of them are really nice people as well.
5.I got into a long conversation with Joseph about Timber Timbre’s recent performance, and it turns out we had been standing right next to eachother, and both freaked out during and after his set, but we’re too stunned to acknowledge eachother’s existence.
6.Pearly Gate Music: The reason we came to the show. I had met Zach (Tillman, brother of J. Tillman) about a year before, the last time he came to Denver. He had played a really small show (maybe 15 people in the crowd) and was opened up for by Neva Dinova & Whispertown (who I was there to interview). Turns out he was really nice and gave me a cd to review, along with his e-mail to keep in touch until the next time he was in town. That finally came with this show.
7.It was very confusing to have seen such a loud, fast set and go home to listen to such a melancholy album. Regardless, it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in years.
8.Moving forward to today: We grabbed a seat at the bar and talked for a while. He introduced us to his girlfriend/drummer, Jenna.
9.This was the second female drummer for Pearly Gate I’ve met, having been someone else last time.
[Sidenote:] That someone was named Faustine, who was really aggressive on the drums (like if Meg White played at twice the speed and was technically proficient). The difference between the punk rock show he had played with Faustine and the show he would play tonight was incredible. Also, it should be noted that I own both the album and the 7”, both signed by Zach as well each having the signature of a different girl.
10.Zach told us a funny story, that I will attempt to summarize: He and Faustine we’re going to meet up with a friend/ grower to buy weed at some secret location in northern California. They were asked to wait on the side of the road in the middle of the night until the guy could show up and lead them to the house. They waited for several hours, drinking and eventually passing out in the van. Finally, the guy shows and wakes them by banging on their window with a flashlight. Needless to say, they though it was a cop and freaked. After revealing his non-cop status, he lead them an hour up the coast, into the woods, to his little cabin. He then left a couple ounces on the table, said he had to go meet someone else, told them to eat whatever they could find, and left. Zach proceeded to get stoned and undercook a huge batch of hardboiled eggs (making them very much softboiled). Then, being stoned and too embarrassed to share with everyone how badly he had ruined these eggs, he proceeded to eat all but one of them. The next day they left and ended up having their van breakdown on the side of the road in the rain. They got stoned and waited for a friend to come help them out. After spending the previous night in that cabin, both of them we’re starving. “Luckily,” Faustine exclaimed, “I saved that last….!” Making a face of disgust and grabbing her shirt pocket, sitting in a van in the rain, stoned and starving, Faustine muttered the single syllable “Egg” as softboiled gloop came running down her shirt.
11.Zach played a short yet incredibly intense set. He is easily as good live as he is on record.
12.I bought the two of them shots to celebrate. Jenna asked for some herbal French digestif, which I proceeded to buy a round of. I had never drank this before; If you have ever drank a really intense French or German digestif before, then I don’t need to explain the face Zach and I made upon trying to shoot it.
13.The show had been listed as “Pearly Gate Music w/ Miss America & Special Guest.”
14.That special guest turned out to be Nathaniel Rateliff. As it turns out, Nathaniel is a big fan of Zach’s and invited him to come out for this one show. Which he did. He flew out from Portland to play one semi-populated show. Which is incredible.
15.Nathaniel played almost entirely new material. Rarely is a musician so talented that they can play an entire set of unfamiliar material and keep a crowd screaming. But Nathaniel is truly that fucking good,
16.I stole his setlist. I’ll type it up or photograph it soon. Sorry, Nate.
17.The Hi-Dive knows Nathaniel well enough to know his signature drink, which is as follows: (I got way too drunk to remember, but next time I go to the Hi-Dive or run into Nathaniel (which seems to happen bi-weekly) I’ll fill this in.)
18.Nathaniel, as well as everyone else I’ve written about tonight, is really nice. And thankful to fans. This might not be mindblowing, but it means a lot to me. I’ve since ran into him around town (including at the last Felice Brothers show at the Hi-Dive) several times and he’s still a really kind, friendly person. Which is a relief.
19.This has been a terrible article. I got really, really drunk at this show and can’t remember much else. I know that I said goodbye to everyone.
20.Oh, just remembered: Zach joined Nathaniel on stage for one song with tambourine and vocals. If there were a god, then the two of them would make an album together. Until then, this universe can never be perfect (but almost was for those 4 minutes).
Pearly Gate Music, Nathaniel Rateliff & Miss America
Hi- Dive Denver
Z. Saint James