Have you ever gone to a show and had no idea about the band you were about to see but once they started performing you were just blown away?
Well, it happens from time to time. Especially if you go to as many concerts as I do.
On Tuesday night, I went down to the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver. The show was headlined by American rock band PVRIS but I wasn’t there for them, I was there for the opening band, Detroit-native indie rockers Flint Eastwood.
Flint Eastwood is the stage name of frontwoman Jax Anderson. You may recognize Jax, as she and her brother, Seth Anderson, also have a band, called SYBLYNG . According to legend, SYBLYNG was originally started as a songwriting project between the siblings but then transformed into the moniker Seth has used for his collaborations around the music industry. So, Flint Eastwood is Jax and SYBLYNG is Seth.
Now, I walked into the venue on Tuesday and walked right up to the edge of the stage. I was a few minutes early, so I made conversation with my neighbours to kill the time.
A short time later, Ms. Anderson and her accompanying band took to the stage.
I was caught off guard by her outfit, which is weird because I rarely notice stuff like that. She was wearing tan-brown overalls and a black toque, or beanie if you are American.
She walked up to the front of the stage, grabbed the mic and a self-deprecating reference to her choice of garments, saying something about how she looked like a carpenter. We all laughed, and she carried on into her set.
I will preface this by saying I don’t know her catalogue, so I couldn’t note which songs she played, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is her beautiful performance.
She took the reigns and guided that entire venue through an awe-inspiring set.
It wasn’t just the music, it was her contagious energy. Once she had finished the first song, she encouraged the audience to join in, yelling, “Loud, not Pretty”. Coaxing them to give it their all, even if it wasn’t perfect. A subtle but inspiring message. The crowd loved it. I looked around and people started holding hands and just trying their best to sing along, even though many obviously didn’t know the words.
Jax, fueled by that return, ramped up her stage show. She pulled off her toque add started a sort of headbanging, thrashing her large braids around. This grew the symbiotic relationship with the crowd. Actually no, this was no longer the crowd, this was now her crowd. They were not just there observing her, waiting for PVRIS. They were now there to absorb her and participate with her. She had earned a new faction of fans, all within a few short minutes.
I kept staring as she powered through her set. She would break off between songs to share some real thoughts, not just some tour fluff about how the current city is the best or whatever. Her thoughts ranged from endearing to empowering, which made her captivating.
The energy level in her set just kept climbing, she danced around more aggressively, it was building to a crescendo. That moment was a powerful speech before the last song of her set, pleading for people to try hard in life. It was truly quite beautiful.
The momentum from that moment rolled over into the final song. The entire venue was now one amorphous mass, dancing along to the beat, and yelling out the lyrics, or for some, just their best attempt to parrot along.
This could have been a headlining show, without a doubt.
Flint Eastwood is a goddamned bad-ass, end of story!
Thank you to her and her band for a transcendent experience.