Monday, March 31, 2014

Nick Flora

It feels like it's been a hundred years since I reviewed a concert. I started to lose sight of why I was doing this, and I started to get enough attention that it made me uncomfortable and so I headed for the hills. I'm quite ready to come back now, with my priorities in order.

The band(s): Nick Flora
The venue: New Life Lincoln Park
Date: March 29, 2014

I've been following Nick Flora on Twitter for a year and a half or maybe a little more. I was always impressed by the how well his songs tell stories, how honest they feel and how cleverly they're written. The first song of his that I ever loved was from his first album, Hello Stranger, and it was called "Different World". It was quickly followed by pretty much every other song on the album. Then there were his covers -- I doubt I'll ever get over the magic of "Let My Love Open the Door" -- and finally his second album, The Reintroduction of Nick Flora, which was, somehow, even more magical than his first.

When he announced a mini-tour in Chicagoland (thanks Under the Radar!), of course I knew I had to go. Chad and I took a long weekend and planned a mini vacation around the Saturday night show. Pre-show, I was nervous. I hate going new places. I don't particularly like talking to people. But this was Important and Chad nudged me along. The opening act ended up cancelling so we got Nick for the whole night. I'm sure the other band was delightful but I think it couldn't have worked out better (unless they'd cancelled for a less-painful reason than lead-singer-back-problems...).

Nick asked for requests, and Chad nudged me but I could only whisper to him, "all of them!?" And when I finally got brave enough to request "Good Enough", he admitted it was already on his list to play. I was happy to hear anything, and everything he played was super.

Anyway, whatever good things I thought about Nick Flora before this weekend, I feel doubly so now. Hearing the stories behind the songs was such a treat. Listening to his introduction of "Make It Out Alive" resonated with me so much that I may have actually shed a tear or two during the song as I recognized that I should probably not sit around only wishing I was doing the things that I love.

I wish I'd jotted down the set list so I could walk you through all of the awesomeness. It was simply fabulous.

After the show, we went to the merch table and hung around to meet Nick, who was -- no surprise -- very nice, friendly and funny. It was really a treat to get to chat with him for a minute. Chad took our picture and I posted it to Facebook. My mom said that when she saw it she said, "Abbe is with Nick Flora. Wait, ABBE is with NICK FLORA?!" I was happy that someone else recognized how cool the moment actually was.

If Nick Flora manages to make it to your neck of the woods, GO SEE HIM. Look him up on YouTube, buy his stuff on iTunes, Amazon or Bandcamp. Honestly, you won't regret it.