Why I Love The Rosebuds

January 18, 2009

Last night I attended a truly wonderful musical event when I saw The Rosebuds at The Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I could go on forever about what made the show so special, from Kelly dancing through the crowd with her tambourine to Ivan, in the encore announcing, simply, “Fuck it, we’ll play a couple more.” The smile on his face the entire evening, on both of their faces, made you realize just how much they love what they do. I think when they went into “Wildcat” at the end I could have broken down and wept. It was that good.

There were gloriously fun singalongs to “Nice Fox” and “Shake Our Tree”. There were infectious dancealongs to “Bow To The Middle” (featuring audience members and and the entire support band, The Love Language, on stage attempting to coordinate dance steps) and an extended version of “Get Up and Get Out”, which, as far as I was concerned, they could have played all night long.

As it was, the show ended about 1:30 in the morning when I wandered out of the place into the snowy city streets in a state of pure, floating bliss, my ears ringing, my body a bit worn out, I felt so filled with pure pleasure it was humbling. It was the sort of show you never forget. The sort of show that reminds you why you love music.

But that’s not the only reason why I love The Rosebuds and will see every show they ever play anywhere within a reasonable radius of my home.

It’s stuff like this, a video tribute to Jasmine Rosebud, the couple’s dog (Ivan and Kelly are married), who passed away last year. Using the song “Nice Fox” from their last album, Life Like, and some video from a lazy afternoon on a lake somewhere, they give us not only a loving memory of a dear friend but a little glimpse into just how real these folks are.

And, yes, that’s a Boston Red Sox cap Ivan is wearing in that video. As if I needed another reason to adore these folks. Of course, anyone who knows the significance of the song “Back To Boston”, which opened the encore, knows what an affection the two have for this area. When they and the other band members embraced at the end of the show I finally realized that it was the last show of the tour and they would be heading home to Raleigh after. Just made it all the more special.

Touching, heartfelt and beautiful. That’s The Rosebuds for you. I always say, they are the most romantic band on Earth and the most real.

Thank you both, and all involved, for another utterly incredible evening of music and fun.

Let’s do it again sometime, eh?

P.S. The tour album is, once again, fantastic. Hand made, autographed and accompanied by a 16-page “Fun Book”, it contains 14 tracks of rareties, covers and general coolness that you can only get from them at their shows. Another little bonus for the loyal fans with whom they have created such an undeniable connection.

And The Love Language were brilliant as well. My first exposure to these fellow Raleigh folks, a seven piece with an amazing energy and a lush, organic sound. A band to watch, for sure.


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