It's not every day that you come across a band that is not only talented but truly down to earth people. Vesperteen, a pop/rock band from Columbus, Ohio, is one of those bands.
A few weeks ago one of my good friends from California named Taylor, introduced me to Vesperteen and told me that I needed to go to their show here in Minnesota on August 3rd. Of course, I agreed and began listening to their music, watching YouTube videos, and interacting with the fan base known as the Vesperteam.
The song that caught my attention from the start was "Drinking From An Empty Glass." The lyrics of the song just really struck my heart. Maybe it was simply because they were so relatable to my life at that very moment and caused me to have a moment of realization, or maybe it's just because it's truly beautiful. Whatever it is, I can say that I never needed a song more in my life.
I began to wonder why more people don't know about this band that is full of so much heart, passion, and talent. Seriously, the amount of talent in this band is incredible. Amongst the few members, they are singers, songwriters, musicians, producers, visual artist/graphic designers, poets, and photographers. The final product of their talents combined is something special, and people shouldn't miss out on it.
I decided to attend Vesperteen's show in hopes of capturing the moments with my camera and voice to share with the world. I thought why not try and take it a step further by reaching out to the band and asking for an interview and what do you know, it worked out!
In the afternoon on the day of their show in Minnesota, Tayla and I sat down in The Buzz Coffee and Cafe with Vesperteen's frontman, Colin Rigsby and asked him some questions.
1. I noticed that you have a very prevalent fan base on social media, notably on Twitter. Do you often interact with your fans and enjoy doing so?
"I do, I really really enjoy it. I feel like the busier I get and the more people there are, the harder it is to interact, but I still try to do just as much. But it feels like I'm not doing as much because I'm not getting to everybody like I used to. I used to be able to get to everybody who mentioned/wrote to me, but now I'm lucky if I see a picture or something somebody says. So, in short, I like it, and I try."
2. What is it like talking to your fans online and then being able to meet them in person at your shows?
"I love meeting them. If I talk to somebody online a few times, I'll probably recognize their face, maybe not their name because I'm not great with names. I'll probably see them at a show from the stage and will be like, "You! (and point) What was your name again?" I feel a connection, and it's really cool. It's always a fun feeling."
3. You played a sold-out 20,000 capacity venue in Colombus, Ohio in June. Since then have you noticed an influx of new fans or any other changes?
"I think it got a lot of new eyes on us for sure. There was a little bump that was tangible. You could kind of see it on Instagram and Twitter. I feel like people might expect like, Oh my God you played in front of that many people so now you have 20,000 new fans, but that's not really the metric of how that works out. It's more just like people seeing your name, seeing your face and seeing it in association with an event of that size."
4. I saw that you went to the Mall of America yesterday? How did you like it?
"Yes! I loved it. I went there probably about 8-10 years ago. You know, it's a mall, and I've been to a billion malls, but it's epic. Nobody else in the band had been there, so we decided to check it out. We wanted to do some shopping anyway. We ate dinner there, and it was nice. I don't know if there is a "Mall of America experience" that one should have, but if there is we didn't really have it."
5. You have many fans who use your music and concerts as a safe place, what are your views on that?
"I think it's great. Of course, I can relate. I do that with so many other artists. I think most of it is feeling understood in a way. The fact that you can listen to somebody else, who you don't know, write something that resonates with you. For me, it always feels like I could have written that song or that it's literally about me or is something that I would write about. Those are the ones that I connect with, and I feel like that's what other people feel and feeling that way is a very safe, nice, and warm feeling."
6. What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you guys since becoming a band?
"I get some weird requests sometimes for pictures or saying something that I don't really know what it means. Like, in the age of the internet there are so many things. There are so many memes/popular sayings. Our van has been broken into a couple of times which isn't so much weird, it's a weird feeling, but it's more tragic than weird. But, weird... we've never had a very weird experience, and if we did, I probably wouldn't share it."
7. How do you balance your tour life, music, having a wife and three kids, and everything else?
"Before Vesperteen I played in another band for like ten years, so we just built our family dynamic on me coming and going. They come to my shows every so often. It's always hard, and you don't get used to it, but we're always evolving and finding new ways to make it work."
8. After the first half of the 'Together For The Summer Tour' what would you say are your favorite and least favorite parts of touring?
"Least favorite is that I am very busy with all the business decisions, planning, and logistics as things grow. I am still independent so I self-manage everything, so that's sort of the least fun part. So in contrast to that, being able to go on stage every night and look at these people's faces and see the joy and being able to feel it and enter into the music with them is definitely the best part. Playing the shows is the best because it's like nothing else really matters. I'm not thinking about expenses or anything else at that moment besides being right there with all of them."
9. All of your EP/single covers are very "artsy." What goes into finding that perfect Vesperteen cover?
"I've been a visual artist/graphic designer for years and years, so that's just kind of another limb of my creative body that I get to incorporate into the music. What goes into it? It's just all feeling. I like to think that I am always getting better at this and I like to think that I will always, at least have a hand in all of the visual art that I put out. If not just doing it all myself because it's a lot of fun for me. It is definitely one of my favorite parts. It is so easy to fall into trends that are occurring around me, so I really am careful not to. The second that I start to see myself start doing those things I'm like "Nope, get out of here! Next thing!" I just want to be different."
10. Are you currently working on anything new? What can your fans expect in the near future?
"I am writing and planning on recording a full-length album hopefully sometime in the fall. I'm trying to write bits and pieces while touring which is hard but it's definitely there and some songs are coming together. New music is in the plan and hopefully some more touring."
Later that evening I found myself standing in the middle of The Garage in Burnsville, Minnesota. As Vesperteen took the stage the room filled with smiles, screams, and even happy tears. Everybody in that room was instantly drawn into the show and didn't look away the entire set.
Vesperteen brought an immense amount of energy right from the start. With every song that was performed, you could see the pure emotion and feeling in Rigsby's face, and through his music, he poured his heart into every member of the audience.
A standout moment of the night was the performance of, "What We Could Have Been" as the whole crowd was screaming along the lyrics. Other standout moments include keyboard player, Jesse Cale cracking jokes, and my personal favorite where Rigsby held a girl's hand in the front row, and she screamed, "OH MY GOD I JUST HELD HIS HAND! I LOVE HIM!"
Of course, the band's most listened to song, "Shatter in the Night" was a highlight of the evening. The song has over 72,000 views on YouTube and over 675,000 streams on Spotify. Here is a Go-Pro video of the performance:
Overall, Vesperteen really knows how to put on a show that is not only fun and energetic but meaningful. You can tell that every member loves what they do as their happiness while performing radiates off them.
I honestly believe that every single person in the room felt a connection to the band and music and that is something that you aren't always able to experience and once you do, it's unforgettable.
If you are interested in purchasing a physical copy of the Vesperteen EP, you can do so here.
Vesperteen Setlist: Inhale and Hold // I Never Knew How to Love You // Feathers So Hollow // Obsess Possess // Dream On (Cover) // Drinking from an Empty Glass // Sweet Child O' Mine // Insane // What We Could Have Been // Chandelier (Cover) // Shatter in the Night //