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BBBAAAAAWWWWW is the sound they make…. that's descriptive enough, right?

I had a really great night a few weeks ago. And it was one of those nights that, looking back on it, I’m still stoked about it.

To truly understand this remarkable night, I have to take you back to my second semester of my freshman year at college.  I don’t remember the night specifically, but I think it was a weeknight, and I remember being really depressed about something. I don’t know what, maybe I had a fight with a friend, or the guy I had a rush on had a girlfriend, or I failed a test, or all my friends went to dinner without me and never told me… or something stupid.

Anyway, I was walking around the campus,  glum because I was in my “if people see I am sad maybe they will cheer me up and I will find the love of the my life because he didn’t want to see me sad” phase. It was a dumb phase. But I did run into a friend. Well, she wasn’t really a friend friend at the time. She was someone who was friends with a group of people I wanted to be able to call friends, and while I think they called me their friend at the time, I didn’t feel like I was because they were all juniors and I was not so I felt like a 3-year-old and that they just humored me because that’s what you do to a three-year old.

Anyway, she was friends with them, and because I hung out with them sometimes I recognized her and knew her name, and she knew mine, and that was good enough I suppose. She was walking somewhere with intent, and came across me.


Hey, Jill, how are you?


Eh.. you know… ok.


Something wrong?


Yeah, I dunno… just feeling a little down I guess.


Well, come on, The Baobabs are playing at The Butler Building, and you can’t be sad when you hear them.

For the sake of dramatics, I’ll say she grabbed me by the arm and dragged me, but the truth is probably that I wanted to badly to have friends, and she actually saw that i was sad, and I was feeling lonely, that I’m sure I willingly went.

I stuck close to her because she was the only person I knew in that building. I don’t recall conversation. I don’t really recall much, but being up front close to the stage. Because she was there and I probably have abandonment issues up the wazoo.

And then the first chord of a song started, and it changed my life. I wish this was an overstatement, but no, really, this night changed the direction of my life… had I experienced this band later on it’ possible I would have been on this path I am now, but my point here is that without this band ever being in my life I may not… probably wouldn’t be… the person I am today.

The night, and any other night the Baobabs would play, was a night full of awesome. There was dancing and happiness, and the music continues to just be the score of my time at Purchase. I think of the songs and I am suddenly transported back to the overcrowded Butler Building (which is now called The Student Center, or “The Stude”… which sounds really dumb and retarded Purchase kids. Just saying.) dancing and singing and being surrounded by people, which I usually can’t stand.

They eventually ended up calling themselves The Fireflies, and one of their songs was in The Sims 2, and a Time Warner commercial (which would have been reason enough for me to sign up for Time Warner if I had been in charge of such things, had the money, and if we weren’t already signed up for Time Warner at the time because clearly someone working there has or had good taste in music).

And they went on to play for a few years, won Emergenza one year, and have fans all around the world.

And then they stopped playing. Their very last show was unknown to everyone that it would be their last show, except maybe for them and the people at the concert, which was in Albany, and no NYC or Brooklyn, which made no sense to me because I’m self-centered and assumed their largest fan base is here. Where they live.

That was three years ago.

Then, suddenly, in my inbox there was a notification from facebook that I had been invited to an event called Spaceship.

Spaceship: a fireflies cover band.

I couldn’t hit yes fast enough! Finally! I’d get to experience the music and the love and the energy all over again!  I believe the internet will show I responded “Fuck Yes” – which, despite what may be portrayed in this more stream-of-conscious-type writing, is pretty atypical of me. I prefer replacement curses because they are funnier. Or old slang. Because it is also funnier.

And I went and met up with some friends I hadn’t seen in years.

And I ran into some friends I knew I would run into because they are in a band that was also playing that night, though I hesitate to call them “friends” because we never actually hang out outside of saying hi to   at shows, and me telling them how much I enjoyed their set. Yet I have been called, and introduced as, a friend, so I’m going to go with it for now, and anyway they were there because they had a set to play and because one of the band members was in the cover band, and I was asked several times by them if I ever heard The Fireflies.

Them 1

So, have you ever seen The Fireflies?


I went to the same school with them. I think I saw like their second ever show…

Them 1:

Wow! I saw their last ever show!


… well la de dah.

Because the last show thing is a really sore point for me.

Them 2

You went to Purchase right? Have you ever seen these guys?


Seen them?  When I first saw them Dan still had hair!

Them 2

Even I don’t go back that far! But I did see their last ever show!

And they played, Spaceship I mean, and it was glorious, absolutely glorious! And there was an encore! An encore!

Band Leader

We were going to play “Microscope Eyes” but we were never able to get around to practice as much as we would have liked. But there are four people in this room who I know, know the song. So I ask them – Dan, Wil, Matt, Seth… will you play us one more song?”

Actually, I think I took a little poetic license, but he pretty much said that. And it was like blackmail of course, because if they said no, and didn’t go on stage, that would be pretty bad form, and they might get boo’ed. and that wouldn’t be nice. And we were all cheering for them. And they took the stage, and they played.

And they played The Takeoff, which was phenomenal, because a.) Spaceship is named after that song, because no one knew the name of the song and would always yell “Spaceship!” whenever they wanted to hear that song, and b.) it i one of their longest songs. Also c.) I have memories of a concert that happened on the mall at Purchase that Connecticut called to complain about because fuck Connecticut, and the campus police people shut off their power during this song.

So. It was pretty amazing to see them again. Even if it’s the last time ever, I was there for that! And it was a moment full of so much emotion, good emotion to be sure, that I didn’t know if I should cry or smile. I opted to smile with teary eyes because it was like seeing The Beatles sing one last song together when you thought that they’d never be on the same rooftop again. Only it wasn’t the Beatles, so it wasn’t anywhere near as musically historically important, except to everyone in that room.


PS: You should go listen to The Fireflies, like right now. Because they were that awesome.


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