Augustines - Crescent Ballroom - 2/15/14
Photos by Maria Vassett Augustines perform at Crescent Ballroom on Saturday. See more photos from the concert.
You should never mess with a band's encore. If you do, it might lead to some unexpected consequences, like with what happened at the end of last night's Augustines show at the end of last night's Augustines show. As midnight approached at the Crescent Ballroom on Saturday, club music from the adjacent lounge began to penetrate the concert hall, much to the annoyance of the audience and lead singer Billy McCarthy.
He tried in earnest to get the band's encore off to a great start but the thumping bass in the next room kept messing with his head. After he walked off the stage and headed into the Crescent's lounge, the audience looked at each other in bewilderment. Two minutes later, McCarthy returned, approached the microphone, and made an unusual request: He wanted everyone to head to the back. No, not the back of the Crescent's concert hall, but rather, the alley behind the building.
Slowly, the crowd and the staff at the Crescent realized he wasn't kidding. Security quickly gathered to make sure that no one brought alcohol outside, their annoyance over what was transpiring was written all over their faces as they shown their flashlights over everyone.
The orange glow of street lights and the full moon shone over McCarthy and his bandmates Eric Sanderson, who dutifully carried an acoustic guitar in his hand, and drummer Rob Allen, who was reduced to a mallet and his floor tom. They stood on a shaky wooden box while McCarthy, cigarette in hand, told a story of his first visit to Arizona, which involved hippies and hallucinogenic drugs. Then the audience and McCarthy fought back the tears as the band played two honest heartfelt songs.
The band's history warrants this blatant honesty and emotion. Augustines' first album, "Rise Ye Sunken Ships," deals head-on with the death of McCarthy's mother and brother. While this would normally make for a depressing show, somehow the band manages to turn this notion on its head.