Thursday, May 12, 2011

I have arms to hold you up...

But, it’s the symbol of what you’ve accomplished and been through in college was the response I kept hearing from relatives and casual friends about my decision last Saturday to choose the last In The Face of War/Away With Vega reunion show over graduation. Okay okay okay, I could’ve done both, but if we are being real, that graduation stuff is a bunch of shit. I went, sat in the crowd, whooped and hollered as some of my most supportive friends went through with it. But I couldn’t.

We’re talking end of an era right? We’re talking closing a chapter of my life? I didn’t see spending forty bucks on a gown, bussing in a load of my family and family friends, etc. etc. as any symbol of closing my college years. I saw watching two of my all-time favorite bands jam through sweet tunes as the BOOYEAH on the end of a fun, trying, interesting, rewarding past four years.

I saw both of these bands for the first time when I was fourteen or something. Since then, they’ve put out some killer records (I’d put both Vega’s Recovery and ITFOW’s We Make Our Own Luck in my top five) and put together some amazing live shows. All I wanted as an end to my undergraduate college days was to see these two bright spots play one last time.

Man oh man, they didn’t disappoint. A fantastic show. With limited practice and a short set, Vega came back with rock n’ roll fury, ending with “Make Your Muscles,” always a crowd favorite. The moment I hopped up on stage with pals I know pretty much solely because of this band was that cool shower after a rough round of disc golf. Everything about Vega, the chunka-chunka song structure, the mixture of singing, yelping, and shouting, the lyrics that go BOOMIHAVEAHEART, pours a connection to me that I’ve never known otherwise. In The Face of War played something like 28 songs from all their albums, with several different lineups represented. This show proved what I’ve been saying for years: Ben Sutton is the best frontman I’ve ever seen; you can never have too many guitars or amps; the person I inspire to be is wrapped up in those songs.

In The Face of War Covering "Everlong" by The Foo Fighters

Looking back on these past four years of college at the wonderful/disappointing relationship with Sara, the great friendships (dead and alive), my journey into the wacky world of poetry, and the exploration of what it means to be TYLER GOBBLE, I realized that Vega and ITFOW represent the two main parts of me. Vega is the nostalgic, sentimental part of me and ITFOW is the restless, stoked part of me. To see both of these bands, these sides of me, in one evening, was admittedly a bit overwhelming.

Part of me wants to be loving and romantic and a headfirst diver into relationships. Another part of me just wants to take care of others, to shout about how wonderful we all can be, and to be honest in the face of some shitty times. Here is what I’m talking about:

In The Face of War Lyrics
  • We will not go quietly and we will never lose our passion.
  • If all we have is this moment in this day in our lives, how can we make the best of it if we don’t even try?
  • We need to start a revival in our hearts. A rebirth of passion, a rebirth of dedication to our lives and to our dreams to never abandon the hope we have in ourselves.
  • We want something more. Is that too much to ask for? Cause we don’t know if our lives make any sense.
  • The best way to take care of yourself is to take care of someone else.
  • You’ve been with me for my whole life, we’ll be much stronger when we say goodbye.

Away With Vega Lyrics
  • It’s not commitment that’s a bother; it’s the thought of being stopped.
  • I, too, collapse when things get heavy.
  • What a miracle it is to be loved at all. Maybe loving is, but what more are muscles for?
  • I haven’t come this far so that everyone could watch me fall apart.
  • It's gonna take some time, to appreciate my skeleton.

Sure, this part of my life is ending. In the next couple months, I’ll be getting divorced, figuring out what it’s like to not be in college for a while, and starting some new projects. But leaning on my best friends as they saw Vega for the first time, saw ITFOW for the last time, together, it was beautiful, together, it felt okay. Together, I think I’ll be okay.

"Make Your Muscles" by Away With Vega at their "last" show

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