Leaving You Is The Last Thing On My Mind

Confession: I would gladly give up the day job and follow the indie rock band, Augustana, around on tour if there were any way I could afford to, and it saddens me that no such way exists.  Augustana has produced 3 kick-ass CDs and I’ve now gone to 3 of their shows, the most recent was just this past Wednesday evening.  And – truly – their concerts rock so fucking hard that anyone who feels even the mildest admiration for their work NEEDS to see them live.  I’d never heard of them back in December of ’08 when I took my sister to see One Republic.  Augustana, at the time having just released their 2nd album, opened for them and both my sister and I have been die hard fans ever since.  I went out that very weekend and bought copies of both of their available albums.

She and I saw them again in July of ’09 at this great little place outside of Pittsburgh and we arrived so early (afraid we’d end up eyeballs-deep in armpits in the standing room-only theater) that minutes after we pulled up, the members of Augustana parked directly behind us and began unloading their van!  Yes, that’s right, my little sis and I got to MEET DAN LAYUS, JARED PALOMAR AND JUSTIN SOUTH!!!!!  We talked with them briefly before the show and for slightly longer after the show, both encounters proving them to be oh so gracious and cool.

Their 3rd album was released back in April and its songs made up the majority of what they performed during this most recent concert.  They played Boston, of course, and Sweet and Low, which always gives me chills.  A few others from their 2nd album and my personal, all-time favorite: Dust.  One of the reasons to see them live: they play most songs slightly differently every time, whether they add/change lyrics (occasionally, whole verses are added) or they slow it down/speed it up.  This time, the intro to Dust sent such a tremor down my spine, I involuntarily shouted the f-word and nearly started to cry.

I’ve been to many a concert in my day and sometimes, I leave feeling it was a waste of time, many times it makes me appreciate the music even more but most of the time it ends up being just a fun way to spend the evening.  Every time I’ve seen Augustana, though, I walk out wanting more and knowing I’ll do everything feasible to get to another of their shows asap.  If their music is anything close to what you like and you get a chance to see them live, please do it.  I promise you won’t regret it.

~N.

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