MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA + CHRIS STAPLES @ THE TROUBADOUR
Photos and words by Samantha Saturday
“Take your shirt off!” is not exactly an appropriate shout out for a stripped down Manchester Orchestra show and frontman Andy Hull had no hesitation in letting the heckler know. “Shut the fuck up with that shit. Just… don’t do that,” Hull requested before even beginning the first song. Manchester Orchestra devotees packed in the Troubadour to hear the band’s stripped down versions of songs from the album Cope, reworked and released as a more subdued Hope. The crowd was speckled with the band’s black hoodies, proudly supporting the group. It’s not often that nearly the entire crowd is fully invested in the performers before them. On quieter tunes like “Every Stone” and “Choose You” the crowd chimed in and formed an audible chorus where the other band members would typically fill in. While the songs may be deep and dark and Hull seems an intense person, he let his lighter side show several times. Mid set, a fan wished Hull a happy birthday, to which he grinned and said “Thank you… now would be a really weird time to tell someone to shut the fuck up.”
“I’ve been doing a couple solo shows on this tour and sleeping in a Walmart parking lot. And when you wake up in the morning and go in to Walmart to use the bathroom, looking like hell from sleeping in your car, you still look better than most of the people in there.” Chris Staples eased the audience into a mellow mood with his layered and thoughtful songs. Tom Petty fans quickly grasped on to Staples’ inclusion of a few lines from “Refugee” in his song “Early Bird Tavern,” earning him some quick brownie points.