Parallel Lives, the opening band, changed my mind.
Nick White’s solid vocals, bouncy hair and giddy smile hooked me. I yelled over the music to another Intro to Rock drone, “Oh my gosh, they’re actually really good!”
That’s when I noticed the dancing fool on the fiddle. His name is Eli Howell and his moves are fabulous. He’s truly an entertainer — you can tell he loves it.
He dances around the stage almost bumping into Nick and making dramatic faces to emphasize the lyrics and vibe of the music. Nick says Eli’s fingers are so big that he has to bend notes to play the fiddle, but he does and he does it well.
John Reardon is good enough to play the cello classically, Nick told me. He plays with perfect posture, but with rock star grimaces. More importantly, he’s a UNC graduate so he gets an A+ in my book.
Nick noticed that the crowd was almost all students, but he appreciated us being there. He said he isn’t used to playing for a crowd full of notepads and pens, but it calmed his concerns about a small turnout.
Nick played in a band that separated in March — Bears in the City. He’s from Chapel Hill and now lives in Carrboro, so when he passionately sings “I can’t get lost in this town no more,” he really means it.
Even after the band won my approval, it seemed that others in the audience were still on the fence. That changed when they busted out a few cover tracks for the audience to sing along. These songs included Stevie Wonder’s "Superstition" and a fiddle introduction to "Single Ladies" by Beyoncé.
Obviously, Queen Bey took the cake. The band sang the chorus and asked the crowd where the single ladies were. They sang the chorus again, getting quieter and lower to the ground as they played every time. Nick even forgot the words to the song, but the crowd seemed to love it still.
At the end of the night, I had no regrets and was glad to be there.