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HURT w/ Jeffro, 02-24-2012, Omaha, Nebraska

February 24th, 2012
Omaha, Nebraska
The Slowdown

Tonight was the first time many of us had seen or even heard of Jeffro.

He is a “one-man-band psychedelic story-teller fueled by the belief that even a single person can redirect the course of an entire universe”. The self-professed “Wandering Madman” opened the show with his own unique genre of rock. A man who gave up the things in his life that he doesn’t need, like an electric bill, a gas bill, and rent, to travel across the country, life the lifestyle of an indie musician and spend each night making new friends in the sea of fans and spreading his messages of hope and happiness.
Wearing a black t-shirt inscribed with “ARE YOU COHERANT”, Jeffro rocked the crowd into submission for an amazing set lasting well over a half hour. His set being comprised of his own original material and a Radiohead cover. Being a one man band, his music is all played live, then looped to create an ethereal sonic landscape. Fro assured us that there would be no backing tracks or pre-recorded samples. His set would be one hundred percent live and created in front of our eager eyes.

When J. Loren of HURT introduced Jeffro during HURT’s set, he noted seveal humorous facts about The Wandering Madman. “How can you not trust someone who looks like Jesus,” being the first nod but it was what followed that got the best crowd reaction. “All the women love him. He’s so masculine,” J. joked with the crowd, “he could probably impregnate me.”

“No matter what’s going on in your life right now, I want you all to be happy to be here,” he told the crowd that he’d easily won over. “Remember that it took living through all those good times and bad times to get to this point tonight and you’re here now and you’re a better person because of it,” Jeffro reminded us during his performance of Hindsight.

A great man once said, “For true art is created to enrich the mind of the observer… Not the pocketbook of the creator.” Jeffro lives by this saying. His debut EP is available for free as either a digital download through his website, http://www.thewanderingmadman.com or as a physical copy at live shows. Yes, for free. Jeffro only asks for small donations so he can continue to spread his message of love through his music by traveling across the country.

As much as the crowd loved being introduced to the music of Jeffro, it was HURT who had drawn the fans out on this cold February evening. This would be unlike anything live show myself or anyone else had seen before. Tonight would be a true test for the band that I’ve grown to love over the past 8 years, because this was an acoustic tour and acoustic tours tend to only draw out the hardcore fans, not your casual listener. To be honest, especially with today’s technological wonders, just about anyone can record music. I’m sure you can record a thumping ditty on your iPhone. But it’s the act of playing that music live that proves the band is more than just studio magic. HURT were taking that to the next level on this tour, stripping down thier usual high energy stage show and giving their fans a more intimate concert experience. Had The Slowdown not been packed to the rafters, I have no doubt that moshing could and would have occured during the band’s almost 2 hour long acoustic set.

Jeffro joined J., Vince, Rek and Michael on stage, backing the band’s acoustic set with an enchanting piano on select songs. While I will always love the J./Josh/Paul/Evan touring line-up, the addition of Vince, Rek and Michael fits well into the band’s musical evolution and J. has never looked so happy on and off stage. Seeing the grin on J’s face as the crowd sang along to every word and kept perfect pitch and pocket was truly inspiring. HURT are one of the most under-rated band’s touring the country and knowing that their music, music that I’ve followed for nearly 8 years, continues to inspire people on this level warms my jaded heart.

The band could have easily waited until the release of their latest album, The Crux, for a full electric tour but it’s the determination of the band to continue to prove itself to its fans.

February 24th, 2012
Omaha, Nebraska
The Slowdown

HURT’s setlist; War, Fighting Tao, Summer’s Lost, Ten Ton Brick, Aftermath, Abuse of SID, Assurance, Sweet Delilah, The Old Mission, How We End Up Alone, Rapture, Lost, Alone With The Sea, That (Such a Thing), Danse Russe, Falls Apart

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