So many magical moments at the Maps and Atlases concert at Rock and Roll Hotel on May 23. Seriously,
though, several mythical never-before-seen phenomena transpired, including:
1) The perfect set-list. The band covered songs old and new, soft and loud, slow and fast. Long-
time and newly won fans rocked out together to Fever, Old and Grey, and Winter among
others from the band’s new album “Beware and Be Grateful.” Old-timers rocked out and new
fans pretended to know the words to the band’s older classics, including The Charm and Solid
Ground from “Perch Patchwork.”
2) Lambs laying down with lions. OK, so maybe not literally, but it was one of the most
heterogeneous crowds I’ve seen at the Rock and Roll Hotel hipster mecca in a while. Preps
mingled with hipsters mingled with grunge mingled with preteens. NBD. My favorite moment
was when some beautiful blonde prep complimented the hipster next to her on his overalls (he
was wearing suspenders).
3) The good guy getting the girl (and boy). Every one of the four members of Maps and Atlases
seemed to be just the nicest, laid-back, most soft-spoken types you could imagine. But the way
the crowd reacted to them was like they were Bieber-meets-Rihanna-wrapped-up-in-Ke$ha.
Total rockstars. Their reactions were so cute too – lots of humble nods, little smiles, and the
occasional fist pound with an eager fan.
4) Religious experiences. So, I don’t pretend to know much (or anything) about the actual skill
sets involved in playing any instrument, but the way the fans around me were talking about
the drummer were in almost Biblical terms. I heard him described as ‘the second coming’ of
John Bonham (the drummer from Led Zeppelin); fans loved the fact he was rocking out without
shoes; and he was also described as the ‘shepherd’ of the band by some guy in the crowd who I
took to be a Maps and Atlases expert given his hair and glasses were carbon copies of the lead
5) Chivalry not being dead. Going to concerts alone is one of the few things I like to do solo (you
wouldn’t catch me dead alone in a restaurant/bar/café) – for some reason I have no shame just
hanging out by myself in the back of the venue. But at this particular show I was lucky enough
to be spotted by a super nice guy who’d seen Maps and Atlases several times before, and who
would not let me hang out in the back. Instead, he fought his way to the front with me in tow –
and I have to admit it made the entire experience a whole lot better (so thanks to you, wherever
you may be!)
Is it worth seeing Maps and Atlases? Absolutely. While I can’t guarantee you’ll experience all five of
the afore-mentioned marvels, you have a pretty good chance of enjoying at least one, right?