oh, gro. (10.10.2015)

the first time i saw this band, green river ordinance, they were opening for needtobreathe, who, at the time, i hadn't seen and only heard about from my friends.

at that point, i was only beginning to dip my toes in the music scene, but i had been to enough shows to understand why people like to show up late: openers can be a real bore.

as a fan at the time, i would always arrive at the venue closer to the door time so i could secure a spot right up close to the stage. it stressed me out to arrive much later than that, and now that i think about it, i don't really know why. it wasn't like someone told me to do it that way. i guess, subconsciously, i was just always trying to close the gap between the artist and myself.

i spent a lot of time standing through opening sets, is what i'm trying to say. i've spent my fair share of time wondering, sometimes out loud to my friends, who those bands are and how they managed to get on this tour if their music isn't really any good.

i know now, after working in the music industry, that unless it's a well curated lineup, like the tour de compadres, or it's taylor swift (who handpicks her openers), you're likely to have artists matched up by their managers and booking agents to fill some kind of agenda. (there is always an agenda.) so, the headlining band may or may not be friends with, or even a fan of, their opening band. you never know what you're going to get, basically.

when gro opened for ntb, we managed to find a spot close enough to the stage while also snagging seats on a nearby stage case. which meant, in a standing-room venue, we sat down during the openers.

"goodbye LA" is the song they sang with an attempt to get crowd participation. stand up, they said. sing along, they said. and i remember thinking, how cute, in response. then, probably halfway through the song, i realized this band didn't actually suck. and actually, i kind of liked them.

so i stood up. and by the end of the song, i was singing along. by the end of the night, i had convinced my friends to make the drive to boston with me, two and a half weeks later, to see them play again.

within six months, i had seen them play like four different times. i have no idea how it worked out that they were touring the northeast so frequently, but it gave me a lot of facetime with their drummer, to the point where we were having actual conversations, beyond "it's nice to meet you" and "your music is great." after one show, i was giving him an update, saying how i'd decided i wanted to move to nashville and be a band manager or something.

"our manager is in nashville!" he said. "you should email him when you go visit."

seeing them play on saturday felt strange. kind of like a full circle moment, surrounding a life i never would've guessed would be mine.

when i found this band, almost exactly six years ago, i was an english major with plans to be a writer and move to new york city. since then, i have dropped out of school (temporarily), graduated with a degree in communications, moved to nashville, interned for gro's management company, sold merch for them at their nashville show, was hired part-time and then full-time at that same company, and, just recently, quit.

gro has since left that management company (around the time i was officially hired) and they're now releasing a country album called fifteen, for the fifteen years they've been together as a band. after releasing rock, alternative, and singer/songwriter albums, the country thing is definitely something to get used to. but they're from texas, and they're awesome, so they can pull it off.

also that opinion may have a little something to do with nostalgia.

i think i will always just love this band.

FOR FUN. photos from the early days, like back when i still used an actual camera (this one, actually, which i got solely for the color) to take pictures.

(please note the happy coincidence it is that i wore a green shirt to that first show.)

september 4, 2009

september 4, 2009

september 4, 2009

september 19, 2009

october 11, 2009

february 13, 2010

november 6, 2010

november 6, 2010

november 6, 2010