She & Him Concert at Terminal 5

15 Jul

By Caroline Lembo

Let’s be honest: it’s easy to become super lazy when the weather gets too hot. So when the predicted temperature high was estimated to be a whopping 102˚ on Tuesday, July 6th, plans were cancelled and meetings rescheduled. However, concertgoers didn’t sell their tickets to She & Him: ironically, they arrived early to wait in what seemed an infinite line on Terminal 5’s rooftop.

Once arrived in the concert hall, excitement rose and fans congregated to wait for the highly acclaimed She & Him, comprised of actress Zooey Deschanel and musician M. Ward. Many girls donned Deschanel-inspired, simple, cotton sundresses while others assembled eccentric, I’m-over-here-M.-Ward, outfits. (The overexcited few wore the merchandise they had bought just a few minutes before: shirts, socks, canvas bags, and records flooded the back counter.) The aqua lighting certainly proved to calm the anxious crowd, but the opening act seemed to do the opposite. Eugene Mirman, an unexpected comedian, took center stage with good intentions (or so I hoped). Cracking many borderline racist, anti-Semitic, and overly offensive jokes, Mirman tried to win the audience back by making fun of himself, including his finger splint due to “making the sh-t out of a bed.” But let’s not talk about him anymore.

Around 9:00 pm, all non-stage lights were turned off to provoke a massive salute as Zooey and M. Ward finally hopped on the stage. Special backup vocals were supplied by tour mates Lily and Abigail Chapin, members of band, The Chapin Sisters. Zooey, naturally, wore a light blue cotton dress with her long, wavy hair covering her shoulders and M. Ward sported a long sleeved brown button down with jeans; both looks were very casual and made the long-patient crowd feel at ease. “Change Is Hard” opened the set list, followed by “Ridin’ In My Car,” “Sentimental Heart,” “Lingering Still,” and another hour and half-worth of music.

Some songs had some rough starts, however, and stage malfunctions seemed to become a test of how well the band could handle the difficulties. For example, M. Ward stayed cool when accidentally popping a string during one of his awe-inspiring solos, which validated his extreme talent. Zooey, on the other hand, had a mini freak out session when she found out a note on her piano was out of tune. “Middle C is like, the most important note on the piano,” she explained to her fans as she won them over with a smile. She tried playing “Home” an octave higher, but stopped ten seconds in with the feeling that it wasn’t right. (She did the same with “In The Sun.”) I guess the mishap was confirmed when she sang, “we all feel ashamed sometimes everyday.”

Another “Zooey” moment arose a little bit later. Although a no-camera policy was established at the beginning of the show, it was ridiculous to think everyone would follow it. Without reinforcement, of course. After a couple of songs, aided by the security guards screaming, “no flash,” Zooey took some time to speak to the crowd before the next song. “Do you guys know how to turn the flashes off your cameras?” she wondered aloud, and proceeded to explain in detail how to deactivate the flash, causing a laughing uproar amongst the audience.

After the flash situation was settled, the band finished with “Why Don’t You Let Me Stay Here?” before they left for a short break before the encore. Returning, they covered “Magic Trick” by M. Ward, “Fools Rush In” by Ricky Nelson, and “I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone. All in all, the concert was a major success. One huge distinction I noticed about She & Him compared to the other bands I have seen is the member dynamic: they all complement each other so nicely, not to mention the relaxed stage positioning each member exerts. I hope to see these guys again soon!

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