I guess I’m feeling a bit sad and nostalgic tonight. I’ve been listening to my favorite band of all time, Straylight Run, for a while.
I wish I could pick either a song or some lyrics to show why it is that I love them so much, but I can’t. And I think in the end that’s why I love them so much.
Each of their songs takes their time as my favorite.
Right now, it’s between “Buttoned Down”, “The First of the Century” and “This is the End”, all of which are from their second full album The Needles the Space.
What’s even more amazing about Straylight Run is the fact that their first album is not necessarily their greatest. In fact, it annoys me a bit when people assume the song “Existentialism on Prom Night” is the best that they have made. It’s not. It’s good, but it’s certainly not my favorite.
If I had to pick a song off their self-titled and first full album I would pick “The Tension and the Terror”.
Passes by and I regret it,
Words just aren’t right,
Sometimes I just can’t explain,
All the ways you devastate me,
Always on my mind
The lyrics to this song somehow embody everything I love about that flirtatious stage before you either start dating or have your heart broken. The whole song is like that. I can’t explain it in the same way I can’t explain how “The First of the Century” is so much like my last year at college and “The is the End” is my break up with my boyfriend and “Buttoned Down” is regret and guilt.
Besides the music, they’re also my favorite for they way they treat their fans. I met them once, years ago (they’re no longer even together as a band anymore), at Warped Tour in Summer 2007. My friend and I went to an acoustic set of theirs in one of the smaller tents. Halfway into the show, the sound system went out. Instead of waiting around hoping it would get fixed, or just giving up, apologizing and leaving, the lead singer, John Nolan, stood up on the small stage, in front of a crowd of about 20 of us, and began singing and strumming along on his guitar. You could barely hear him over the bass from one of the bigger stages nearby, but it was a song we all knew and loved, “Existentialism on Prom Night”. He sang the whole thing through. It was just as amazing as on the big stage or the album and the rest of the audience joined in. I can’t explain how it felt when the sound system came on right during the last verse. It sent shivers down my spine. A truly beautiful performance.
Later on, in the summer heat, we went to their tent to get a photo and talk. They were completely normal and amazing people.
It seems anytime I’m interested in someone [romantically] I always end up telling them about Straylight Run. Trying to explain why they are my favorite band. They never quite understand it. They never really give them a chance or proper listen or anything. I should take it as a sign really, as this band means so much to me, and if someone can’t comprehend it then they can’t begin to understand me.
I’ve never been someone who connects really deeply with music. I feel a lot of things. Movies and television shows make me cry, but there are few bands that really hold my attention and whose lyrics get to me in the same way.
But that, I suppose, is why I love them so much.