If there is any benefit to be found in only seeing friends every couple of years, then let it be that we are perhaps able to appreciate the ways in which we have grown and matured during this absence.
Last week I arrived in Los Angeles for a somewhat extended stay and quickly reconnected with friends from college at a gig for their band Wreck of the Zephyr. I hadn’t seen Dave, Eric or Noah in at least two years – maybe more – and it had been four years since I’d heard any of them play. Beginning in school when we shared a house together and through the years since, they along with other friends have created and recreated bands – Formosa, Hundreds and Thousands, Norrin Radd… Too many for me to remember.
As the trio took their places in the dimly lit warehouse gallery and began their first number, a rolling instrumental, I reflected on how quickly life is moving. We are no longer twenty, not even twenty-five; we are moving along with our careers; some of us are already married (indirectly I have these guys to thank on this point because during a visit to LA in early 2007, I met the woman who would four years later be my wife).
Sure, the boisterous, mischievous energy is still there – this is, after all, a gang that among other shenanigans created their own holiday, celebrated annually with an ever-growing spectacle to outdo the last one. But the music does not sound frantic; it is more subdued. Amidst the noise and battery there is a patience that one would only recognize from taking the long view on a group of friends who’ve lived and worked and played together for nearly a decade.
It sounds like experience. And growth.
By the way, you can see images of these characters from back in the day in photographer Elizabeth Weinberg’s excellent photo collection, Rattland.