On a somber, rainy Thursday evening in the nation’s capital, I got to experience a night of live music that was anything but gloomy. Nestled away at the corner of 9th and U St is a venue called DC9. Absent a flashy, exterior sign, the setting is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. But anyone who has lived here for any significant amount of time is aware of the tried-and-true locale. However, this night was my first time seeing a show there, and what could be more perfect than seeing a criminally underrated act like Mo Lowda and The Humble?
The night kicked off with a quick set from The Radiographers. Their playlist was short but featured a combination of alternative, electronic and hard rock stylings. Overall, their music included too much synthesizer for my personal taste, but their energy was great and infectious.
Soon enough, it was time for the main name on the bill.
In lead singer Jordan Caiola’s words, it had “been a minute” since they played a D.C. venue and fans were eager for the band to start, so much so the crowd enthusiastically moved closer to the stage when Jordan invited them forward.
After the band finished playing the first song, they stopped the show for a few brief minutes to fix a technical issue. Unfortunately, the glitches persisted throughout the rest of the concert. All night, Jordan made comments about their mechanical mishaps, at one point even asking fans to give the band a minute to figure out their temperamental equipment because the last song they played “fucking sucked.” As the night wore on, he was visibly frustrated and stressed over the equipment not working, especially as this was the last show of their tour. After their performance, I told Jordan I wouldn’t have noticed so much had he not consistently pointed it out and that the snafus didn’t change how much I enjoyed the show. From what I witnessed around me, the other fans would probably agree.
The band’s setlist included songs from their new album, Creatures, in addition to some of their older fan-favorites. Fans were engaged all night as they sang along to songs like “Runaway,” “Card Shark” and “Why’d It Take So Long.”
Throughout the entire night, it was obvious the band was letting their music speak for itself. They rarely stopped playing to talk, and when they did, it was just for a quick sentence or two. I’m also not sure I’ve ever seen a band get so physically into their music. It was actually difficult to get a great picture of them because they were moving around so much. It’s also what made the experience so enjoyable: they were just three dudes who were passionate about the music they played and were totally present in the moment.
The band originally planned to end their set with my personal favorite, “6-7,” a song about a dysfunctional love story. “Call it what you want babe, some call it love,” Caiola crooned as fans soaked up what was supposed to be the last moments of the night, but just as the band was stepping off the stage, the fans started chanting “one more song” over and over again. The band came back and played at least another 10 minutes worth of music, most of it instrumental. The fans loved it and it was the perfect way to end the night.
I got the chance to catch up with Jordan after the show. We had chatted at length back in April, which you can read here, and I just wanted to introduce myself officially in order to put faces with names. He couldn’t have been nicer. Seeing as this was the last show, I wanted to ask him how the rest of the tour finished up. He mentioned that they’ve started to notice how they’re developing a following of diehard fans in different spots around the country. If this concert was any indication, count DC as one of those pockets.