Fair Fjola @ the Brass Rail

By: Brandon McGinnis - Posted: 2011-12-23

Friday night I got to do something I haven’t done in a really long time, catch a free show. It’s been over 6 months since my last article which means I’ve paid a lot of covers recently. I can’t stand the idea of a cover when there’s no real entertainment, but I have no problem shelling out a couple bucks to support musicians on stage because hey let’s face it, that’s usually how they get paid! Although I was put on the guest list by the band (thanks guys!) that night, I would have gladly paid to experience what I did. It’s been over 6 months that I’ve actually felt like sitting down and writing about (hint….ORIGINAL BANDS STEP YOUR GAME UP!!!!!) and I’m actually pretty excited to tell you about this band from small town in Northern Indiana called, Fair Fjola. Even in the freezing cold, for some reason, I managed to walk away feeling warm.

I love the bands whose personal friends recommend them. I get this preconceived notion that they’re the “best band in the world” EVERY TIME, so it’s fun to see what they’re really made of. In my eyes, it places the bands in a “put-up or shut-up” kind of situation, even though they weren’t the ones that actually said it. They’ve already got to prove that they’re as good as their friends say. This band was no different. Indie-poppy-folk-y-jack-johnson-y-ish type music usually isn’t my thing, but I’m always up for a new experience and a new sound. I arrived at the Brass Rail down on Broadway, grabbed my usual Red Stripe, and headed towards the stage just as they were going on. They started with a song that instantly took me back to the ‘Solar Stage’ at Bonnaroo this past summer. The music took the hell that was the 100+ degree temperatures right out of the equation. It was extremely refreshing, like I had been waiting for it all day. This cross between Modest Mouse, Jack Johnson, and a quarter of the 2011 Bonnaroo lineup was exactly what I needed after a long stressful week leading up to the Holidays.

As refreshing as the first song was, even more refreshing was the way they interacted on stage. Everyone was feeding off each others’ energy, switching instruments between songs, and genuinely enjoying what they were doing. Their performance was definitely about their music, and they’re damn good at it. I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere it portrays. It releases a sense of calm without being boring, with each song progressing as its own story. Beautifully written and performed. I got to catch up with the band after their set and as people, they’re just as beautiful as their music. Everyone is incredibly friendly and just radiates energy. Seems to be a common story among musicians I’ve met that they do what they do, because they love music. You’d never know that there were real musicians out there by listening to some of the trash that’s on the radio. They’re passionate about it, and it really shows in their performance.

Overall a great night. The Brass Rail is always a good time, especially with good music on stage. After a couple good friends (thanks for recommending these guys!), great musicianship, and a good performance, Fair Fjola made at least 1 new fan. Observing the 100+ people in the bar that night though, I’d say they made a fan out of more than just me. And again, this isn’t the type of music regularly spinning in my headphones. To Sebastian, Eileen, Veronica, Samuel, Sam, and Tyler… please keep doing what you’re doing. I look forward to seeing you all perform again. To all the readers, if you’re looking for a release after a long day, week, month, whatever… do me a favor and catch a Fair Fjola show.



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