Haunting atmospheric melodies floated throughout National Sawdust as white light-up trees twinkled, highlighting the eagerness on the faces of the crowd as they sat in Kumbaya form on the floor. Night two of Radical Face’s two-night stay at the venue was upon us.
Opening for Radical Face that night was The Little Books. Hailing from Jacksonville, FL, this duo consisting of Robin Rutenberg and Rob Colado, are multi-talented musicians who can hold their own on stage. The two took turns switching off with vocals and each played a number of instruments including the drums, guitar, flute, and keyboard.
“None of these songs are about happy things,” Radical Face’s frontman, Ben Cooper, states, in between morbid pieces of music. Cooper’s eerie vocals along with his fictional storytelling of abuse, murder, depression and death feel like a Tim Burton film told through song – dark and twisted but also light and airy, floating through the minds of the audience like a ghost through a wall. Most of the songs that Cooper writes are fictional pieces that could be turned into novels with the amount of description and depth that are put into each song.
As serious as the songs were, the band was having the time of their lives on stage. Cooper expressed that going on tour with a bunch of friends creates a silly environment and as the tour went on, they let loose more and more on stage as well as off. The guys in the band even laid down on stage each time Cooper played a song on his own, adding a laugh to the experience.
Radical Face played a myriad of songs including “Wrapped in Piano Strings,” “Black Eyes,” “Severus and Stone,” “The Mute, “The Crooked Kind,” “Summer Skeletons,” and the crowd favorite, “Ghost Towns.” The band likes ending the night on a cover song. That night they played a very Radical Face rendition of a song from Robin Hood called, “Not in Nottingham,” a song Cooper said he has been covering for 16 years. It’s probably one of the more depressing songs from a Disney movie they could have chosen but fitting none-the-less and quite the way to end the night.
Article: Merissa Blitz