Time travel is not possible. Despite what my repetitious viewing of the Back to the Future trilogy and Donnie Darko may suggest, I believe this to be true. A time, once passed, is gone forever. No matter how hard I wish, I can’t hop in my DeLorean, gun it to 88 mph and shoot back to a simpler time when I was a student, under the comfy financial umbrella of my parents, and had college ahead of me (and with it, the stability of knowing what the fuck I was doing with my life).
But it seems like there might be one slight exception to this rule. They say that scent is the strongest trigger for memory, but I am inclined to disagree. There is nothing – and I mean NOTHING – that can transport you as effectively as a song.
Walking into El Corazon in Seattle (home of Tooth & Nail Records) on a Sunday night, I was greeted by the distinct scent of weed and the even more distinct scent of cover-up incense. I stood amongst a crowd of my music-loving peers (except for the one guy who, along with making the mistake of calling me “dorky hot,” also erroneously thought Taking Back Sunday was playing that night). I think this is the first time in years I’ve been to a show where all the audience members were old enough to drive – let alone drink – an obvious testament to Mae’s ability to create lifelong fans.
From the first piano-powered emotive-rock strains, it was 2005 again. I was magically 17, wearing scuffed-up converse, and totally stoked that I was seeing one of my favorite bands. And this time the original five members were in finer form than ever. The Virginia quintet gave the audience what they wanted (if the screams at the first notes of “We’re So Far Away” were any indication), playing a pretty even pairing of songs off of Destination: Beautiful and Everglow. Front-man Dave Elkins orchestrated a male/female split harmony audience sing-a-long to “Breakdown,” bodies moved to the music, and Mae even returned to the stage for a three or four song encore. They hit my personal favorites, including “Soundtrack For Our Movie,” “Someone Else’s Arms” and “Mistakes We Knew We Were Making.” It was everything that 17-year-old (or 22-year-old) Jenny could hope for. But then, as they exited the stage and the last notes dissipated in the air, the spell was broken. It was 2010 again, I was not 17 anymore, and my back and feet were killing me.
A good number of people stuck around after the show with hopes of chatting with the band, and I included myself in their ranks. As Dave came from around the corner, I tapped him on the shoulder and introduced myself. After chatting about Absolutepunk, my brother, and Seattle, he moved on to other fans. But first he left me with this gem: “If you write a bad review, the band might break up.”
Well here it is, Dave. I have only good things to say…with one exception: this whole indefinite hiatus thing is bullshit.