“I don’t know if this will make the show any better, but here we go”, Frightened Rabbit front man Scott Hutchison said before indulging a shot of Makers Mark given him by a fan. Despite his uncertainty, Hutchison launched into the next song, guiding bandmates and a rambunctious audience through a tour of a catalog that included new favorites (“Get Out”) and classics (“Old Old Fashioned”). More than 12 hours later the songs still fill my brain, and the energy of Wednesday night is still coursing through my veins.

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Taking the stage promptly at 9:00 p.m., New York quintet Caveman chimed and romped their way to impressive. Undoubtedly influenced by music of the 80’s, Matthew Iwanusa’s vocals were complimented by Sam Hopkins on keyboards. Playing songs from their coming album, Iwanusa couldn’t hide his enthusiasm for the headliner either. “I see Frightened Rabbit every night, and I still look forward it”. The feeling was mirrored by the Scottish heavyweights, who took the stage at 10:15 p.m.

While Hutchison couldn’t play fans every request, his interaction with us was nonchalant, surprising given his childhood fear of crowds, and the moniker that inspired the band’s name. Frightened Rabbit took fans through a set of 16 songs that included tunes from earlier releases “The Midnight Organ Fight” (2007), and 6 from their newest “Painting of a Panic Attack” (2016). Opening with “Get Out” and closing with “Keep Yourself Warm”, the kind of imagery these songs induce, coupled with their relentless pursuit of perfection, is what makes Frightened Rabbit one of the most exciting bands today.

Not letting them off easy, fans refused to leave the theater until the band came on for an encore, 3 songs that concluded with “The Loneliness and the Scream” (a personal favorite). A vigorous number, the audience was happy to clap along to the bitter end.

Obliging fans, all band members (including those of Caveman) came out to meet and mingle with us post-show. True to their humble Scottish roots, Frightened Rabbit signed albums, concert tickets, and even a drumstick that Grant Hutchison lobbed off stage. Posing for photos for more than 30 minutes after the show ended, both group’s seemed happy to speak candidly, whether it be upcoming shows, or their vitamin routine, for which we can thank my friend Ellen.

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