Well, some concerts are just better than others, you know? Sometimes it has a lot to do with who you went to the show with, how much you had to drink, what mood you were in, or whatever. But every now and then, you go to a show that you know without a doubt was one of the best shows you have seen. Ever. Here’s my story about one of those shows.
On January 18, 2019 I went to see The Glorious Sons w/ Liily and J.J. Wilde at DC9 Nightclub in Washington, D.C. I had discovered the Glorious Sons, who are from Canada, when they went on tour with The Struts. They did not play the Lynchburg, VA date that I saw last year, but originally they were supposed to, so I looked into them. After hearing their music, I was very disappointed that they didn’t play that show and I have wanted to see them ever since. When I saw they were going to play DC9, a club I had never been to, I figured it might be worth it, even on a Monday night. I bought tickets for a mere fifteen bucks the day they went on sale. I hope I don’t bore you with the whole story of my night, but I’m going to tell it because I want to savor the memory of one of the best shows I have seen.
I went to the show with my awesome wife. Like I said, we had never been to this venue. Upon entering, it was a small bar with a few booths, cracked vinyl upholstery, pretty run-down looking (which for me is usually a good sign when it comes to rock n roll clubs). The music is played upstairs, so after waiting a few minutes, we were allowed up a steep narrow staircase. They took tickets at the top of the steps and there were “sold out” signs everywhere. We walked into a tiny space with a stage in the corner and a bar in the back. There was a sign that said capacity 149. One Hundred and Forty-Nine!!!
There was still some room in the club at this point and there was a girl standing next to us talking with her friends that was wearing white high top Converse and midriff shirt. She looked cool. Moments later she and her bandmates walked onto the stage—she was J.J. Wilde. From the very first guitar chord I was hooked. Ms. Wilde could sing, she had amazing eyes and the songs were killer. I was completely blown away. If I had left after their short set it would have been worth it. They have only one song released, called “Wired” and it’s a good one, but it doesn’t capture how good they were live.
I took these two shots of JJ Wilde with my outdated phone…
These two black and white photos from the show were posted on Facebook, so I guess they are fair game… just in case, they are by Shots From The Dark Concert Photography.
After the first set had me completely mesmerized, next up was Liily. These guys were super-manic and very original, I thought. Their music was a little bit of a wall of sound, but I found them to be very entertaining. Anyway, they were pretty good. They definitely did not kill the momentum of the show at all. I felt like me & my wife and 147 of our closest friends were all there just being treated to the best rock n roll show ever.
As an aside, between the second band, Liily and The Glorious Sons, I went to the bar for more drinks. The line was pretty deep so it took awhile. I happened to be next to the guitar player from JJ Wilde’s band. I told her how much I liked the set and she introduced herself, her name is Jackie. Jackie wore a Ramones t-shirt and a jean jacket, and that, combined with her hairstyle, made me think of the Runaways. She referred to JJ as Jill, so now I know what one of the J’s stands for. Jackie was super-nice. She asked about how I came to be at this show and she told me about her Dad and how he collected tons of music like I do. (I suspect I am likely about as old as her Dad…..)
Next up of course was the main attraction. The Glorious Sons were so damn good, I’m not sure I can explain how great they really were. As I watched what I now consider to be a world-class rock n roll band, I thought about how amazing it was to see them in such an intimate setting. I then realized that I was actually very glad that I did not see them open for the Struts. I was definitely meant to see this band in this place on this night with these opening acts. The stars aligned to deliver what I believe live rock n roll is meant to be. Unbelievable. Again, some photos are mine and some from the professionals:
I took these four that turned out pretty well.
These black and white photos by Shots From The Dark Concert Photography are awesome.
They capture the raw power…
The Glorious Sons have two records out, both excellent. Although they left out two songs I would have liked to hear, they played most everything I could have wanted, and also the best version “Praise You” (by Fat Boy Slim) that I can imagine. Here’s what I think I remember:
APPROXIMATE (not in order) SETLIST FROM DC9 NIGHTCLUB 2/18/2019
Godless, Graceless and Young
My Poor Heart
S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)
Everything Is Alright
Man Made Man
Hide My Love
Kill the Lights
There are a few shows that leave me overwhelmingly happy, that keep me smiling for days on end. This was one of them. Go see The Glorious Sons. - JCE
Ricki C. and JCE (John, to his friends & family) first bonded over their shared mutual love of Boston's Finest Sons - The Neighborhoods - and everything extended out from that rock & roll ripple. JCE lives in Culpeper, Virginia with his wife & daughter, and he & Ricki are STILL waiting for the long-rumored NEW Neighborhoods record to be released. Maybe in 2019.