I always have a weird debate with myself when it comes to the timing of a review or article about a live show. By the time that I see the show or write about it, a good chunk of shows on that tour have passed, and it only benefits you, if you happen to be in a city that they hit on the rest of the tour. Sometimes I feel like I am rubbing it in, that I got to see them and you didn’t.
But, I can’t help but write about live shows. I love music that is raw and the live performance is just the epitome of that raw energy. I get swept away every time.
Though Restorations is a Philly band, but they always make a stop in Pittsburgh, so I’ve had the opportunity to see them a few times before. They usually had the opening slot for a bigger band, which is a great way to gain exposure, but I never felt that the venues were the right venues for him. MOst venues were large, which a raised stage, and a pit restless for the main act. Restorations is an intimate band, their music worms it’s way inside and settles in, the music seeks an audience to connect with. The band feels each note, each word, and gives the audience their all. At all those large shows, the connection always felt a bit diluted as the audience strains their neck to watch the show.
Club Cafe is tiny, a bar, some tables, and a bit of floor space. This is the right size venue for them and for us. It took them a few songs to warm up and for the crowd to get in synch but they played with more intensity than I had seen them do in the past. This audience was there to see them, this crowd was never totally theirs, and they played as if they didn’t want to let anyone down.
They were intense yet intimate, they lay naked in those songs, and they stripped down on stage. This was the Restorations that I always wanted to see, it this the show that I envisioned as the records spun around in the dark. The audience packed to the stage, we sang along, and we screamed.
By the end of the set, the banter was that of old friends at the end of an exhausting week. Going home to your cat, recording new music, some nonsense. The audience left spent, yet some how energized at the same time.