Local band turns on amp for farewell performance
Before shooting photos or reporting for any event there are always a lot of preparations that swamp your mind. Are the cameras packed, did I charge the batteries, do I have my notebook for the interviews? For once I can honestly say that these questions were the last thoughts on my mind as I was cruising down route 80 heading towards Princeton from Utica.
I was plenty excited about the show as I am for most live shows; however my feelings were mixed knowing that this was going to be the last show that I was ever going to see from I Had No Face and even more so being that I am good friends with the entire band. I pulled up to the doors of Second Story a non-profit music venue formerly known as Above Main roughly a half an hour before the show. Upon climbing the stairs to the venue, there were already many college and high school students there playing billiards, watching tv, or socializing with their peers prior to going down to the lower level stage for the show. This is when I had a chance to catch up with Kevin Schnaiter (lead vocalist) of I Had No Face.
When asked about the reason for the band’s splitting Kevin said “We have all been busy with our lives in the past year and have our own ideas of what music projects that we want to pursue in the future. We just wanted to put on one final show for the fans”. During our brief interview he also hinted of a new song that would be played as part of their last hurrah. With the sound check of the first of five bands that would be playing that night, we proceeded downstairs to show support for the local bands.
The energy of the show was great as bands such as Listen To Reason and As A Heart Attack took to the stage triggering a moshing crowd and a shaking basement. After three bands finished their sets it was time for I Had No Face to hit the stage one last time. With the crashing symbols and pounding drums provided by Devin McDivitt the show was off to an energetic start.
After getting about half way through the set list Kevin announced “Who here in this room knows someone personally who has committed suicide? It was at this point that almost every hand in the venue was raised.
Kevin then said “You have no clue how much that breaks my heart you guys” just before opening up into the song “Calm The Storm” that had been written specifically for this one occasion. In case you guys were unaware, Princeton has been plagued by teen suicides in the past few years. You could really see how passionate that Kevin was about this topic not only in his pre-song speech but also with the vocals in the song itself.
The band played about three songs after “Calm The Storm” and it was a beautiful concoction of shirts and cd’s being hurled into the audience, singing right in the faces of audience members in the front row, and hugs being exchanged among the band members.
After the show I met up with fellow IVCC student David Mills (rhythm guitar, secondary vocals) who told me about how much work had went into preparing a final show, especially with the band being inactive for a year. He also talked about his current music project “Beneath Starless Skies” (formerly “Rawr Alexis Rawr). Joining him in this project will be Matt Smith (lead guitar for I Had No Face). You can check out this former acoustic duo’s music on iTunes to hear their past music.
The night ended with a final portrait session that I did for the band and for the one perfect pose that I managed to capture we could have assembled ten blooper reels but it was all in good fun. In closing, I want to thank the venue Second Story for their hospitality and great staff. It is because of venues like them that the music scene can live on in the Illinois Valley.
Secondly, I know that all of you in I Had No Face are continuing on in your own music ventures and I wish you all the best of luck because I know the talent that you all bring to the table.
I Had No Face, your music will continue to ring on in all of our ears for years to come.