Singer-songwriter David Luning entered the stage as the opening act. The audience came to a hush and the lights dimmed as he plugged in his acoustic-electric guitar and began picking away gently at the strings. The venue reminded me of The Listening Room Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee with its small stage, intimate lighting, and attentive audience. David stood on stage naturally, tuning his guitar and telling stories. He warmed the audience with his banter and humility. When he began to sing, you could feel the emotion in his voice and recognize the authenticity of his words. The personal stories he would tell between songs brought the audience into his life. He enraptured the audience with his adeptness on the guitar, his compelling voice, and his ability to engage people.
The main act called themselves the Pigpen Theatre Co. and the group consisted of seven men and more instruments than I could count. Growing up, I was never a fan of boy bands. I didn’t have posters of the Jonas Brothers or One Direction on my walls. However, last night I think I learned what it feels like to be a so-called “fangirl.” Pigpen Theatre Co. is exactly what a boy band should look (and sound) like with their flannels, facial hair and folk music. Their harmonies were unparalleled and their musical prowess was inspiring. After each song, the band members would rotate instruments and start up again like it were nothing. They vibed really well with one another and with the music. A few songs into their performance, they all hopped off of the stage and found a place to stand in the middle of the audience. Without microphones or amplification, they brought the show to another level of intimacy. They played a few songs that way, and it felt like we were spectators looking in on their living room rehearsal. Pigpen Theatre Co. was an energetic and incredibly talented band, and I aspire to see them again! To check out their music, visit: http://www.pigpentheatre.com/.