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Lo Moon @ Boot and Saddle – Philadelphia, PA 11/07/17

Photo by Fran Chismar

My brain is in a state of perpetual motion – a state necessary to generate enough fuel to power my body’s most essential organ. My mouth. It’s impossible to quantify how many things come out of my mouth throughout the course of one day, and an attempt to do so would take the auditory equivalent of a Clockwork-Orange-style intervention. Despite my mouth’s perpetual verbal kinetics, on occasion, it has been proven possible to be tamed. A beautiful woman.  A painting. A song.  A moment so powerful that my brain shuts off, my mouth stops, and my heart is given the green light to just feel. To accept a feeling without definition. To enjoy a moment without description. Enter Lo Moon.

“Loveless” was sent to me overnight and without explanation.  Sitting in my inbox, the song stared at me like a message from a long, lost friend.  Staring back at it, I pressed play and immediately the melody started to pour over me like summer rain on a still night.  As I listened to it, I did exactly that – I listened to it.  Silently sitting without thought.  Gentle breezes of music billow in, caressing my mind and leaving a wake of goosebumps.  A pattering of raindrops fall at my feet as thunder builds slowly in the distance.  The drops grow larger and fall even faster.  By the time lightning hits, I realize I am in the middle of the storm with nowhere to hide.  I prepare myself for the downpour, just as the storm recedes revealing blue skies.  Birds chirp in delight as the sun stretches its fingers through the clouds, warming my face.  And everything seems that much more beautiful.  I hit play again.  And then again.  This continued throughout the morning.  I fell in love with “Loveless” the first time I heard it.  You always remember your first time.

Matt Lowell of Lo Moon

Lo Moon has been somewhat of an enigma – only releasing three songs in little over a year. Each song is delivered the same way – without warning.  Questions swirled around my brain. Where did these songs come from?  Where is the album?  Who is Lo Moon? As time swept on, hope for an album was about lost on me when the announcement came. Lo Moon would be coming to Philadelphia to play a small, headlining show.  Impatiently, I waited for the show to arrive, along with the other 150 people that sold out the Boot and Saddle in Philadelphia.  Imagine a scene like Field of Dreams, where  from far and wide, concert goers aimlessly walk towards a venue in a hypnotic state to the whispers of “If you play Loveless (not the edit mind you, the full 7 minute and 4 second version), they will come.”  Prior to the show, the band announced they would be playing most, if not all, of the upcoming album during the performance.  Dreams do come true.

Crisanta Baker of Lo Moon

When the moment arrived, I was front and center.  It amazes me that 150 people filled a room to see a band we know almost nothing about – except for their names.  The trio of Matt  Lowell, Crisanta Baker, and Sam Stewart, along with Sterlin Laws on drums, took the stage to a packed house and cheers.  As soon as they played the first note of “Thorns,” they had our full attention – so much so that when the song ended, Matt stared at the audience and said, “Wow, it’s silent.” Collectively, we were thunderstruck.  Words were useless.  The next song was all we wanted.  Matt revealed that this was the first time they were playing many of these songs live, as he placed lyric sheets on the floor. And then they played.

Sam Stewart of Lo Moon

Ten songs.  Ten songs of perfection.  Not a throw-away track in the lot.  At one point, I realized my eyes were closed, clenched for the entirety of “Camouflage”.  I was lost in the storm.  Bodies swayed and thoughts ceased. Matt confided that the new album would be ready in early 2018. The announcement snapped me out of my trance.  For the encore, Matt came out to perform “All In” accompanied only by the haunting melody of his keyboards.  The song stood out with its stark arrangement against Matt’s soft voice.  Afterwards, the band rejoined him for “Loveless”.  Seven minutes of pure bliss, then it was over.

No one likes endings.  Fortunately, our beautiful relationship was just beginning.  I craved the feeling Lo Moon provided me.  That’s when it hit me.  In today’s world of instant gratification, Lo Moon didn’t rush the process, taking pride in the craft.  They put forth a masterpiece, as opposed to a few tolerable singles buried in  a crate of throw-away tracks. The music wasn’t complicated by trivial facts, boring us with mentions of hobbies and interest.  This isn’t a band made for swiping left or right.  The focus was on their music.  Like any lesson in patience, good things take time and are worth the wait.  Lo Moon didn’t sleep with me on the first date.  Single roses in the form of songs were given as they courted me.  The pleasure was all in the detail.  All of these glorious moments were the buildup to our first kiss – and what a first kiss it was.  That is a great way to shut me up.