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Silk City / Philadelphia, PA / Friday, December 16, 2005The Capitol Years

The Capitol Years (TCY) started the night off with a new song called "Mirage People." "The Capitol Years are not a good band" are the first words in the song. From TCY's website: "The story goes: Someone wrote a peculiar letter to one of our friendly local blogs, Philebrity, as well as some local weekly newspapers. In the midst of a rant about various local writers and alternative media personalities they felt the urge to single out and disparage your own Capitol Years, lovers of love and makers of music. As such, your Capitol Years felt inspired to reply only in song, and used this person's letter as the basis for the lyrics."

Let me skip back about 3 years ago when I first stumbled upon TCY in Newark, DE at The East End. I had a beer in my hand that I did not drink for their entire set because I had forgotten about it. The boys were rocking...I mean ROCKING. They ended their set with Shai (vox, guitar) jumping up on the bar and playing a five minute quasi-solo while also conducting the band to changes and delivery. The crowd went crazy.

Back to the present, or at least a few days ago. TCY were on at Silk City in Philadelphia. As I stated, they started off with "Mirage People," a slower, folky, singer-songwritery tune, and the mood was set for the rest of the evening. Basically flawless playing, singing, etc., yet...something's missing...I hate to say it, but something's not right.

What happened to the incomparable energy? What happened to the balls out guitar riffs? What happened to the chest out, shoulders back, heads up, "We gotchu, and we know it, 'Whooo-hooo-hoooo...YEAH'" attitude? What happened to the songs I loved? Is it just me? Is the majesty lost? Have I been to see them too many times? I'm embarassed to even venture a guess. Do I have too big of an emotional investment in the band?

Some of you remember a performance (probably the only time they played there) at the old Grape Street -- where they showed up late, took too long setting their stuff up, bent the house drum kit out of whack, pissed off some jocks, mocked an important radio DJ.....but ultimately OWNED the place.

Why don't I see that anymore? Perhaps they are changing, which granted, every band yearns to do to find themselves. And, I can see the band summoning John Lennon and screaming, "Well I'm sorry if you liked the old moptops dear and you thought I was very satirical and witty and you like Hard Days' Night (Jewelry Store) love...but I've grown up but you obviously haven't."

But, perhaps I don't want change, though. Perhaps I liked Hard Days' Night.

Perhaps I caught TCY at their best. Perhaps I have not seen anything yet. Perhaps you agree with me. Perhaps you disagree with me. To stir up this kind of emotion in me, though, I think we can agree is a good thing. Isn't that what music is all about anyway...stirring up emotions?

For three years, I have wanted nothing but to see TCY succeed, and I continue my hopes for the band. Perhaps they will make a song out of this little write-up. For that, though, the honor would truly be mine.

--Danny London
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