Hidden In Plain View / I Can Make A Mess – Theatre Of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA – 9/7/13

Last night I witnessed a very special concert, a concert that was packed with emotion, exhilaration, and nostalgia.  It was the return of Hidden in Plain View, a band that I followed religiously through my high school and college years.  I didn’t know that this show would have me leave thinking about the past 10 years of my life, and somehow Hidden in Plain View was my soundtrack through some of the moments.

The first musician I photographed was the very own Ace Enders, billed as I Can Make a Mess.  Having Ace on this show was a perfect fit.  I won’t go into all the details as to how all of Ace’s musical endeavors impacted my life because it would be long.  I have been following Ace’s career since my freshman year of high school.  Jeez that’s a long time.  Ace put on a great show as always.  Just him and his guitar playing a wide range of songs from his entire catalog.  Starting with new songs from Enola, which I think should be released acoustically.  Just saying.  He then proceeded to take requests from the crowd including a shorter version of “1,000 Times a Day” and “Sunday Drive”.  However the highlight for me had to be when he played “Body like Mind”.  A true testament to Ace’s music and a reminder that he should never quit music.


Next was Hidden in Plain View.  I didn’t think I was going to photograph them, but it happened.  For a band that hasn’t played in 7 years, they played liked they haven’t stopped.  The last time I saw this band live was in Allentown, the crowd rushed the barricade and knocked it down.  I thought that was going to happen this night.  The crowd was singing every word and didn’t miss a lyric.  It was an emotional show not only for the band, but for the audience.  I didn’t think I would have such a rush of nostalgia while watching them perform.  However, when they asked who here is from Allentown, I couldn’t help but smile.  I can’t say how many times I’ve seen Hidden in Plain View live, because they came through the Lehigh Valley countless of times.  From the VFW halls to dinky concert halls in Allentown, I was there.  “Halcyon Haze” even gives reference to Allentown if you didn’t know.

Even though they joked about being tired because it’s been too long, the band played their hearts out.  Joe still has a great stage presence, Spencer will always be a monster on the drums, Chris had unforgettable bass drops, Mike played amazing solos, and Rob kept the harmonies strong.  Hearing songs like “In Memory”, “The Point”, “An American Classic” and “Top 5 Addictions” brought back many memories of my youth.  However once “20 Below” and “Bleed for You” was played, the people, places, and events I haven’t thought about in years hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was an overwhelming feeling, but also a feeling of letting go and moving on.

I don’t know if we will see Hidden in Plain View play again.  Shows like these should just be one and done.  It is almost like finally finishing that chapter on your life, and it was just the perfect ending.  Yet, only Hidden in Plain View knows what their future holds, maybe a DVD of the final show since there was a film crew or maybe another show.  Whatever it is, I will be there, along with all the other fans that hold a special place in their heart for Hidden in Plain View.

“Because all we need is something to hold onto,
Something to believe.”


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