The first time I went to see a concert was in November of 2006. I had seen my friends play at local venues, but never anything more than 20 people in a garage. I grew up in a small town called Payson, Utah, which is about an hour south of Salt Lake City. Bands generally only stop in Salt Lake City, if they stop in Utah at all, so this was the first time I had the money for a ticket and the means to get to the venue. I was going to see Thursday and Rise Against, two of my favorite bands at that point.
When we pulled up, I was blown away by how beautiful the venue was. The building used to be an old dance hall just after World War Two. It’s like a giant old castle in the middle of nowhere on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. Quite majestic. There were also a lot more people there than I had expected. There must have been at least a thousand of us there. We navigated the box office, security, and huge lines and finally made it into the venue.
The first act was a band I had never heard before called Billy Talent. I didn’t particularly enjoy their sound, and I was mostly just anxious for the bands I came to see, so I can’t remember much about them, but I do remember being frustrated at realizing just how much standing was involved with concerts.
The next act was another band I had never heard of. They came out, and the singer said the name of the band, but I couldn’t make it out. Something with a lot of “s” sounds. My feelings on them at that point were: the sooner they are done, the sooner Rise Against will get on stage. They started playing, and I very quickly changed my attitude. They had so much energy and looked like they were having a blast. This was the first band I had seen at that level of production that made me feel the magic of a live band. I didn’t know any of their music, but I could see that they loved what they were doing enough for me to have a great time watching them. I really enjoyed their set, but when they were done, I was happy that Rise Against was finally going to play.
While waiting for Rise Against to go on, I walked to the back of the venue and ran into one of my friends. He told me that the singer for the second band was at the merch table. I didn’t intend on buying anything from them, but I figured if he was there I would at least go talk to him.
I got to the front of the line to talk to him, and he was very hard to hear, but he was smiling from ear to ear and seemed like he couldn’t be more excited to talk to me. I told him I had never heard of them before and I really liked their set. He thanked me and gave me a big hug. He was so excited, and I couldn’t think of anything else to say, so I asked him for a CD. When he pulled it out, I asked him if he would sign it for me. He opened it, signed it, and handed it to me. This was the first time I was able to see their name written down. The cd said “, Juturna”. I thanked him and he hugged me again and thanked me for coming to the show.
This is starting to get a little long, so I’m not going to talk about Rise Against or Thursday. I know, I thought they were the important part of the story too. Anyway, I became obsessed with that Circa Survive record. I couldn’t stop listening to it. It became the soundtrack to my life. I would listen to it over and over. It’s still one of my favorites of all time. Circa Survive now means a lot more to me than either of the bands I went to that show for. They really showed me that it is important to keep yourself open to new experiences because you never know what you might be missing.
About a year and a half after this, I worked a job that let you bring in your own music to listen to. I brought that Circa Survive record, and one of my coworkers that I had seen around high school but never really talked to said they were one of his favorite bands. We hit it off right away. He said to me: “Are you in a band? You look like you’re in a band”. I joined his band within a few months, and a couple of years after that, we started Eidola.
To sum it up, sometimes what you are looking forward to most is not the part of the story you will tell in ten years, and opening bands can change your life.
Eidola formed in 2011. After a year of touring on their debut self-released album ‘The Great Glass Elephant’ in 2012, the band signed on with Blue Swan Records to release Degeneraterra in 2015. With the album receiving acclaim from critics and fans alike, the band embarked on a series of tours with bands like Dance Gavin Dance, CHON, Hail The Sun, and Stolas. Now Eidola is back with their most ambitious and aggressive effort yet, To Speak, To Listen.