The Early November / Hidden In Plain View – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA – 1/14/17

10 years ago, The Early November released The Mother, The Mechanic, And The Path.  Their sophomore album which also happened to be a triple disc.  A very bold move not only for a sophomore album, but for the scene at the time.  That’s The Early November though, they may have been part of the “scene”, but their music and ideas were always ahead of the curve.  For me, this album holds a special place in my heart, it was a pivotal time in my life and this album came out at the right moment.  In honor of celebrating this unforgettable album, The Early November decided to play a handful of songs from the album on the East Coast and the West Coast.  As for an opener, The Early November brought along their friends, Hidden In Plain View.

Hidden In Plain View reunited in 2013, which is the last time I saw them.  Decent photos can be seen HERE For the record I was still learning to photograph.  However, since then Hidden In Plain View released new material and played additional shows.  Due to timing, I was never able to make it to those other shows until now.  The energy of the band never died, Hidden In Plain View still put on an electrifying show.  The focus was mainly on playing songs off Life In Dreaming, but “Bendy” and their newer song “Hunting The Hunter” made an appearance.  Even though Hidden In Plain View doesn’t play shows as a full time act, when you do see them, be prepared for a show because they play as if it is going to be their last.

The Mother, The Mechanic, And The Path was released while I was on my first tour with another New Jersey band, Tokyo Rose.  Tokyo Rose came up at the same time as The Early November and both bands shared bills together plenty of times.  The hype around The Early November’s triple was divided as I remember.  Some fans thought this is too much while others waited eagerly.  Essentially the triple disc was broken down as The Mother disc was more acoustic driven, The Mechanic was more of full on rock record, and The Path was a theatre of sorts album.  To this day, I think Ace should bring The Path to a theatre production company.  While this album was being made, it would come out later that this was a big project for The Early November and nearly broke down Ace.  Then when it was released it received good reviews and sold very well, but there was some divide from fans.  Some stated that the best songs should be put out as one album, as for others and me thought as a whole the album was perfect.  Before the album released, a few songs came out and already the songs didn’t sound anything like The Room’s Too Cold.  A lot of fans praise that that album is their best effort, which it is a good album, but the triple disc sounded more complete.  The Early November were finding their sound with this album and it didn’t sound like a compilation of songs, but a full album.  During this time I went through a break up with my high school sweet heart, started college, and didn’t know where life was taking me.  I left my internship to get in a van and try out touring.  I remember when I first heard the triple disc.  I can’t remember the state or city, but I remember it was after the show and we arrived at a person’s house to crash for the night.  Typical act a small band does on tour.  While everyone was partying, I was in kitchen using the internet to listen to the album on Mtv’s website.  It was an exclusive first listen.  I believe I got to the fifth song and stopped.  I knew right away, I have to buy this when it comes out without question.  The opening song on The Mother disc, “My Lack Of Skill” was sad, haunting, but hit me the right way.  Then from there it was over, it was like I let go of everything.  Everything going on with me didn’t matter.  The lyrics and music helped me overcome the break up, the struggle of fitting in at college, the triple disc was a different album unlike any album I heard before.  That’s when I came to my own as a person that will always be different and go against what is normal or standard.  The Early November made an album that went against the standard record cycle and they didn’t care.  They did it with heart and meant it and if no one liked it, it didn’t matter because they did what felt right.  I eventually picked up the album at Best Buy due to having a bonus DVD.  From then on I have bought that album twice to give to people as a gift because I hoped they would get the same feeling out of it as I did.  As of today I own the album on vinyl from TDR Records, a item I never thought would come out, but it did and it is a great piece of wax.

As for the show, The Early November played 14 songs off the triple disc in the beginning.  Some can be heard at other shows, while others were played for the first time or the first time in a long time.  Ace was very thankful to be playing the songs in Philadelphia and at some points it seemed like a emotional night for the band.  Their encore featured 10 additional songs from their other albums.  Seeing this show had to be the most nostalgic show for me to date.  Not only did both bands impact my life, but the triple disc is an album that I can say shaped my adult musical taste.  I wouldn’t appreciate folk music as much or the sliding guitar.  This album had a little bit of everything and just enough to get me by.

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