Nothing is better than starting 2019 off with a reflection of the best show of 2018. I gladly award this title to Roosevelt, a band started by 28-year old Marius Lauber, from Viersen, Germany.
Before the evening of December 12th, 2018, the night of the show, I happened to stumble upon the band's newest live set on YouTube. My very hopes were realized when their first track was "Take Me Back." There I was, Saturday afternoon, November 24th, three weeks away from the show – I could not wait, I needed to hear something. So, I clicked play and watched the first three songs. I remember screaming "Yes" about three times the moment "Take Me Back" began its course. That tingling feeling in your body when a great song comes on overcame me – my body was ready (that is a bit of an inside joke).
Fast-forward three weeks later, to a dark room with a stage and equipment just prepared and fine-tuned. The audience yells in excitement as an interlude of music begins to play. Marius and company walk to their accompanying instruments, and a synthesizer goes loud into improvisation before red backdrop lights and the beginning of the very first song, "Take Me Back." This song has an emulation to Gran Turismo or a video racing game as the story begins. It set the tone for the whole night. The drummer, bass/guitar player, synth/drum pads/back up vocalist are all in unison through the very first beat. Being there for that moment itself was almost the best part of the night.
Song after song we were taking on musical voyages from the group's first self-titled album, "Young Romance," and their "Elliot" EP. However, this tour was primarily to promote the new album "Young Romance." Hearing songs such as "Montreal," "Lucia," "Moving On," "Fever," and "Colours," brought to life what I was only able to hear through a record player or digital media. Marius's live recreation of the songs gives them another sensation – a seventh sense if you will.
Marius addressed the crowd in the middle of the set in saying "Wow. We are so far away from home right now. But, it's great to be here with all of you right now." The humility and genuine appreciation he had for us in the crowd was something I had yet to witness in an artist's face, ever. That said a lot about how much the band appreciates the fans and following.
"Colours" stole the night, as it was the most developed and surprising song of the evening — what a journey from start to finish. There was a brief moment where the song ended, and with incredible build up, it managed to rebuild into this ridiculous ending – similar to a "fake" grand finale of fireworks. That's where they dupe you and make you think it's over when it isn't done yet.
After their long song, "Night Moves," the crowd yelled and clapped in grand applause. Marius came to the front row and gave numerous high fives with the biggest smile on his face. He went back to the microphone and said his departing words "see you next year!" And I say this back - it's time for Roosevelt for play Lincoln Hall – I'm calling it now. See you guys soon.