Today’s music can cause some musicians to be faded out of all the culture that has sprung form the digital age. However, there remains hope when excellent musicians breach both the mainstream and beyond to capture audiences far and wide. One such musical group is the Nashville crew of Moon Taxi. Last week, the fellas were set to perform at the epic Irving Plaza. The collective of Moon Taxi consists of talented gentlemen: Trevor Terndrup, Spencer Thomson, Tommy Putnam, Wes Bailey and Tyler Ritter. Curious to hear about their doings, I managed to follow up with their people and land a brief moment to speak with Spencer and Wes before their show that night.
My day started off quite crazy actually. Prior to arriving at my office that morning, I witnessed for the first time as a New York City resident, a catfight between two women on the subway platform! It was wild and woke me up immediately. Ahem, I digress here… Even though it was a rainy afternoon, that did not dampen my spirits as I made my way to Irving just as high school must have been letting out. Right as I arrived at the concert hall, there was already a ceaseless crowd of high school students yelling and screaming down the sidewalks. As I waited to enter, I could not help but chuckle to myself and watch these students run past on what must have been the first week back at school. Finally, I was invited inside and walked through the dark space upstairs. The last time I was at Irving was when I was volunteering with Lifebeat handing out condoms for an AWOLNATION show. That was a good night. I have never been on the balcony before and was able to appreciate the view and intimacy of the hall even more. We passed the sound booth and entered the back green room.
Seated on the couch relaxing was the master of the keys, Mr. Wes Bailey. He immediately stood up and greeted me as I entered. Finding a chair by one of the windows, I began to sit when guitar lord Spencer Thomson walked in and said hello. Both musicians sat comfortably on the couch across from me and we began. First off, I must note that both of the gentleman looked exhausted from their serious touring and I commend them on their patience with me. For example, Spencer was as low as you could go on that couch and was soaking up every minute of his relaxation. Wes and Spencer were happy to return to New York. “We love going to all of the great restaurants here, especially eating some ramen and seeing old friends.” Moon Taxi may have also brought with them the much-needed rain that even NYC plants sought during their stay.
For Moon Taxi, the music seems to flow well for them. I asked Wes and Spencer how their work comes together. “Well, that is a hard thing to calculate. Musically, each of us has their individual sound that is built up live and in the studio. Through the writing and preparation it all comes together. There is a trust among one another that we are going to do our best. Together it is a organic and natural creation.” They even went so far to explain their motivation. “Yourself is the best motivator. All of the external things do not matter so much. You have to be able to feed off yourself fulfilling through hard work to constantly get better. We all give ourselves high expectations whether we are live or in the studio with our work. There is a lot of communication back and forth until we arrive at something exciting.”
Both Wes and Spencer noted that today music is in a very interesting time. “It is cool to know that some kid in their bedroom can be making and putting out their own stuff. What was done last night can now be put online and transferred to the everyone. We want to continue to be a part of that wave of music.” I have no doubt they will remain there. As I could see the two men getting even wearier, I decided to end there and save it for the show review that night. They were very kind and I was more than happy with the time spent with them.
To give you a little taste of the wonder they bring, I was invited to attend their show on what continued to be a rainy night! I returned to Irving later that evening to watch the boys in action. Departing Union Square, it was apparent that all of the crazies were out wandering in the rain. They were probably taking a much-needed shower. Upon entering Irving, I was surprised to receive VIP access and a view from the balcony right near where we spoke earlier that day! I grabbed a Stella Artois and sat comfortably stage left to watch the show. First up was the opener, Firekid, who had a groovy and simple rock sound with indie flair. They were really good! The duo had me swaying the second they started. The drummer had headphones on and was mastering his craft wonderfully alongside his partner in musical crime who had excellent guitar plucking skills. Irving’s crowd was already half packed at this point.
After Firekid finished, you could not move anywhere on the floor. People began to become loud and excited as the roadies came onstage to get things ready. The roadies themselves were playing a part that night all dressed up in blue astronaut jumpsuits working away. A patch of time lingered as the crowd anxiously awaited the arrival of Moon Taxi.
Once the siren began blaring the lights went off with thunderous applause! Moon Taxi calmly strode on stage and picked up their instruments. They started off with a nice wailing roar. Trevor was totally into it the whole night with pure happiness on his face. I don’t think I saw him frown or take that smile of his face the whole evening. He was also the most passionate and animated stage performer out there. He had a Barry Gibb look going on with the smile and hair. I dug it. As their studio work shows, they all rock a great rhythm and flow. I loved their huge disco ball display as the pink and blue lights swirled all around us. It was perfect with their music. Every fan in the house was bobbing their heads and singing along with each song. Moon Taxi was preaching an anthem of fun. They honored the disco ambiance with a hipster grasp and a folksy rock choir. As the weed became potent in the air hands were up and the music kept us alive all evening.
Moon Taxi has a lot of exciting things coming their way. Most notably, their new album ‘Daybreaker’ set to drop October second! To get a glimpse of this new magic, catch them on tour this fall as they continue to meander across the country. If you are looking for good music to smile to and stuff that will be sure to make you feel great, Moon Taxi are the guys for you. Stay cool and join the crowd.