One Last Song With The Ironclads
One Final Song ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
In the past three years of running Sound on the Sound, we’ve loved and lost a lot of great local bands. It’s the heartbreak no one warned us about when we started. Over the course of these three years, we’ve caught more final shows and sets than we would’ve liked, of some truly great bands. These shows are always bittersweet, because faced with the prospect of never playing together again, most bands bring it like never before.
Of all the final sets we’ve caught, none have come close to the emotional outpouring we witnessed and participated in for The Ironclads at the High Dive Saturday night. Rife with technical issues, it wasn’t the band’s best set, but it was unforgettable. People watched the set with quivering chins and tears streaming down their faces (and by ‘people’ I mean the Whore Moans, What What Now, this here music blogger and many others) as they sang along to every last word. The band itself fought back tears on stage and lost that battle, as a crowd full of friends and fans shouted requests, jokes, and “please don’t go’s.” All bands have a cadre of friends, family, and significant others who come to their shows, but no band I’ve ever witnessed has had a more impassioned (and growing) group of followers than the Ironclads. Unlike any other group of supporters, their crowd mirrors the spirited verve that endeared us so to the band in the first place.
As the Ironclads finished what was set to be their final song, the bright, careening near chaos and infinitely sing-alongable “Bullet Train” — the crowd erupted into cheers of “one more song.” The audience’s cries for more were louder than anything amplified from the High Dive speakers all night. In a decision he probably regrets, but we are forever grateful for, the sound guy at The High Dive granted the audience’s wishes, by allowing the Ironclads to play one final song.
With the first frantic strains of “Cape Canveral,” the song that acted as my gateway to the addicting exhilaration of the Ironclads, it was clear that the crowd would not be contained. After some momentary mosh pit style shoving, a few brave members of the crowd stormed the stage to sing along to the ill-fated astronaut tune one last time. And after one person got on stage, the rest of the excited crowd wasn’t about to be left behind. The line of glasses hugging the stage’s edge, forgotten in order to better pump both fists in the air, tumbled and shattered with the rush of the crowd. It was chaos, but beautifully so. (Probably not so much for the High Dive, of course.)
With most mics pushed to the side by the storming crowd, the enamored audience, not the Ironclads themselves, sang lead vocals for that final song. Arms wrapped tightly around each other and heads tossed back in mix of a collective anguish and celebration, they sang louder with each repeated chorus of “CAPE, CAPE, CAN-AV-RALL. CAPE, CAPE, CAN-AV-RALL.” In that final bridge, with the plaintive a capella refrain of “I’M FREE, I’M FREE,” everyone laid bare their own overflowing devotion. And for one last wonderful moment, we were all Ironclads.
Phil and Thom ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
Thom and Nora ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
A Tearful Jamie tells the Crowd There Will Be One More Song ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
Jamie Enjoys Vocal Backing By Fans and Friends ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
One Last Song with The Ironclads ::: photo by Abbey Simmons