Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Envy on the Coast: Final Thoughts


First & foremost, this is not the last time I'll ever mention Envy (clearly, I have a problem with not talking about them for more than 24 hours). Seeing as they have formally disbanded, I thought I'd say a few words about a band that I've been in love with since I was in 10th grade.
I first started listening to Envy on the Coast in 2006 because a boy who I had a crush on loved them. He had a YouTube account on which he uploaded a live video of Envy that he'd filmed earlier in the year. Said guy may have been the one to get me into Envy but it was Ryan's voice that made me want to keep listening. I've mentioned Ryan's voice on numerous accounts; bottom line: the dude can sing. After watching the live video, I tried to find as many interviews with the band as I could (keep in mind Envy was a fairly new band & YouTube was even newer). I downloaded the Envy on the Coast-EP & became addicted to it. I listened to that 5 song EP when I woke up, on my way to school, at school, after school, & every night. The boys in Envy are just a few years older than I am so at the time, they were just barely out of high school & to this day, it still remains one of the most impressive EPs I've ever heard.
Their first album, Lucy Gray, was alright. I didn't sound much like the EP & the songs all seemed a bit random & misplaced to me. It did have it's high points, though. A few songs on that album such as The Gift of Paralysis, Sugar Skulls & Lapse will always be synonymous with Envy. Lapse has always been my favorite Envy song & probably always will be. Other than that, I don't have too much else to say about the album.
Envy's second album, Lowcountry, was just the opposite. It has this grunge-rock vibe, but with southern-bluesy undertones. If I hadn't known better, I wouldnt've believe this was the same band who wrote Lucy Gray. It was kind of like they matured 20 years in less than 3. Lowcounty only came out about 5 months ago since writing this post (8/02/10), so it seems weird talking about in retrospect like it's some classic 80's album.
I was fortunate enough to see Envy on April 18th, 2010, just two weeks before my birthday.I had a huge falling out with the person I'd originally planned on going to the show with & I had to scramble to find another friend to buy her ticket. Luckily, a close friend came to the rescue & went to the concert with me, foregoing the fact she'd never even heard of Envy before. Hadn't she bought the ticket, I would've still gone alone, but it would've been one lonely birthday show.
Even though I got crazy lost on the drive to the show, we still ended up waiting in line for about 2 hours. The main thing that stuck out about the Envy boys is that they never once acted like rockstars. Despite the fact everyone in line was willing to call Envy on the Coast their favorite band, the guys drove up in their van & walked right past everyone in line as if they were just pedestrians (no sneaking-in-the-back-door bullshit). The only band member who actually stopped was Brian, who took the time to bear-hug a fan in the middle of the sidewalk. For about a half hour, the guys unloaded their trailer with the help of some fans, did soundcheck & opened doors.
I've gone into Twin Atlantic & how the show was & all that shit.
Bottom line: It was a sick show.
I've never seen more whores flock to one guy as much as they did Ryan Hunter that night. During the show, the same group of girls were yelling crude, unecessary things to him & it not only annoyed everyone else in the crowd but the guys in the band & Ryan himself. Some self-control would have been greatly appreciated.
I later met Ryan (nice guy) & Jeremy (awesome guy), & I wanted to talk to Brian but he was busy talking to other people & by the time I was done talking to Jeremy, Brian was gone. To put things extremely lightly, Sal seemed like a total dick. I always imagined meeting him would be a cool experience but other than calling the fans who helped him load-in "sweet", he didn't say anything or even smile once, all night. He seemed like he was in some kind of funk & after the show was over, he ran into me trying to push through all the people to get to the backstage area. Very handsome guy, but he just wasn't very happy that night.
And alas, I left in the middle of The Fall of Troy's final New York set. It was raining as we left the club & Envy's van was parked out front. The doors were open on the van & we could see the boys chilling inside with a couple girls, as well as a few girls standing outside of the van trying to get in on the conversation.
That was my Envy night & I guess it's the only one I'll ever have. I wanted more than badly to go to their final show in NYC, seeing as I don't live too far away, but tickets sold out quicker than you could say 'Salvatore Bossio'. Guess that's life.
It's strange to think that I'll never hear another new Envy on the Coast record, let alone go to another show, but I feel lucky to have been there from the very beginning. I almost feel sorry for people who will start listening to them in years to come.
Envy on the Coast is a band that has changed my life for the better. I'm proud to call them my homeboys (New York, stand up!), a bunch of good dudes, & my favorite band.
I'm gonna tag this with my favorite pic of the boys that served as my screen background all through high school.
Thank you again to Envy for everything you've done.
I'll miss you forever.

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