face to face - Live in Nashville (Cover Artwork)

face to face

Live in Nashville (2018)

live show

My love and I made the trip from Vancouver, BC to Nashville, which is a good 5 hours in a fart filled tube that soars through the air, not including the Chicago layover, for my beloved face to face. They were not the sole purpose of our trip to Music City, USA but they were the catalyst.

I’ve seen face to face countless times in my 40 years and they’ve not once failed to make me move and sing along. I really can’t say the same about some of my other favorite bands. With the release of their acoustic based LP, the fantastic “Hold Fast”, the band embarked on an acoustic tour with Cory Branan and Austin Lucas warming up the crowd. This particular leg had another favorite of ours, Mr. Lucas.

After a day spent successfully, maybe a little too successfully, drinking away a particularly nasty hangover while chatting with locals and smoking far too many Marlboro Lights and not eating because our bellies threatened to expel everything we put in it but booze… We somehow made our way to our Airbnb, got our shit together (tried to look somewhat presentable) and Ubered our asses down to the Nashville City Winery. A little ways out of the downtown core, this gorgeous venue was set up banquet style and we quickly went to find our seats, which were among the best in the house. I had my elbow on the stage as I ate charcuterie and drank a delicious local IPA. This is how you do it when you get old my friends. Never did I think I’d see the day where this was my jam but I tell you what… paradise.

Austin walked on stage with his acoustic guitar shortly after we arrived. He’s got some good old smart-ass banter and a helluva voice. He launched into his newest single “Immortal Americans” as well as older fan favorites like “Somebody Loves You” and more recent fair such as the appropriate “Alone In Memphis” which to our delight, had face to face backing him and it made for an amazing end to Austin’s short set.

It’s worth mentioning that the crowd, mostly comprised of middle-aged folks, did not seem to be getting down on that particular night. At $30 a ticket you wouldn’t think that Mom and Dad would just be looking for a night out so they picked a random show at their local winery but that sure is what it seemed like. What do I know; I was in my own little world. It just struck us as odd that we were the rowdiest ones in there.

As we were still riding Austin Lucas’s sweet country high, the main attraction made their way on stage and launched into “Ordinary”. Trever held down main vox while Scott and Dennis kept the melodies afloat. While this song is buried near the end of the record, it’s an interesting choice to lead with given it’s not the strongest on the record. “Keep Your Chin Up” kept the upbeat mood going. The decision to make this a full band affair as opposed to just Trever and Scott going out (which has been done in the past) was a wise one. The drums and layered vocals made this feel massive for an acoustic gig.

The real highlights were the honky tonk turn of “Don’t Turn Away”, my favorite song off of “Hold Fast”, “All For Nothing” and the deepest of cuts, the gorgeous and haunting “Everyone Hates A Know It All” off of “Ignorance Is Bliss”. The latter is one that I’ve never heard since the band, until recently, had disowned that record but it truly is a fan favorite. Not one to not repay the favor, Austin Lucas came out during “A-OK’ to lend a hand on vocals. This being the last show of the tour I’d imagine the guys had some time together to bond and it was sweet to see musicians from different worlds come together and show that it really doesn’t matter what you play or listen to. It’s all the same.

If I had one complaint, if I were to make one criticism, it would be that they could’ve played more surprise songs. They played their entire record plus one song, the aforementioned “Everyone Hates A Know It All”. Just some more treats for those that came to the show would have been fun.

All in all, it ranks up there as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and that truly is saying a lot. Maybe it was the liquor, maybe it was the cheese, maybe it was the company I kept or maybe it was a little of everything. That was a show for the fans and a fan I am so it spoke directly to my heart.

I can’t wait to see them again and if I have to get back in that fart-filled flying tube and cram into the most uncomfortable seat you’ll ever spend $450 on then sign me the fuck up.

face to face Setlist:

Keep Your Chin Up
123 Drop
Shame On Me
Don’t Turn Away
How To Ruin Everything
All For Nothing
Everyone Hates A Know It All
Bill Of Goods
Shoot The Moon