The rockers are sleeping over tonight
by Caitlin Caven
Here in Pittsburgh, we’re staying with some of Michael’s college friends—a delightful couple—and their two daughters, ages four and two. The four-year-old refers to the dudes as “the rockers”, as in, “are the rockers still asleep?” or “are the rockers going to go to the museum with us?”
We’ve been sitting in their living room, avoiding both the sudden autumnal chill and the minivan. We’re mostly quiet and self-contained, catching up on email and whatnot. The four-year-old changed into her ballet outfit (black leotard, pink tights) and has been insistent that we watch her do her “gymnast stuff” in the living room. She’s been at it for the last twenty minutes, easily, and when she feels our attention is lagging, she speaks up.
“Who wants to watch me do gymnast stuff?” She just asked. Michael is on his iphone, Peter’s on his computer, and Darby is zoning out.
“I do!” I tell her.
She looks at me blankly, then gestures toward Darby. “I meant him.”
When it comes to the experience of being “the girl with the band”, truer words have never been spoken.
The Antlers played last night at a place called Garfield Artworks, an art gallery/ performance space in Pittsburgh. It’s a long, rectangular room with art on the walls and a stage at the far end. Since it was First Friday, all the galleries on this street were open and people milled about and filtered through, grazing on brie and crackers. Penn Street on First Friday was a veritable Island of Misfit Toys, a really fantastic cross-section of people. Gallery crawlers ranged from dreadlocked women with small infants wrapped to their torsos to neo-foppish dudes to college freshmen excited to be in the presence of free wine. It was a really cool vibe, a sort of open-minded embrace of art for art’s sake.
Garfield Artworks drew a good-sized crowd, and many people sat on the floor for the entirety of The Antlers’ set. They played a slightly mellower, slightly less-involved version of their usual set—and played seated—but the intensity carried well in the space. We sold some of our new t-shirts and CDs, which is awesome—both because it’s great to see that people connected with the music that much, and also because it helps offset the cost of gas.
A friend of mine from a former life as an employee of Amy’s Ice Creams came and brought some friends from school, and they were really supportive and a lot of fun. Peter recognized a guy from a party he had gone to a year prior in Baltimore, and they spent awhile comparing notes (“Oh, so you know ____? I know ___!”), and bonding. Darby’s uncle and cousins came to the show, too, as did our amazing hosts. It’s pretty incredible to roll into a town you’ve never been to, and walk away with a small network of friends you didn’t know you had. All in all, Pittsburgh was really good to us.
We’re currently on the road to Cleveland, where we set to play at a really loose, DIY space. The car is packed to the gills and I’m allergy-medicated like no tomorrow. Darby is dozing with his aviators on, and Peter is slumped in his bucket seat. There’s a bunch of bananas and plums that our hosts packed us sitting in between them. It’s quiet for awhile, and we all embrace it.