On the night of August 6, 2022, my life changed.
As I drove up to the Westville Music Bowl in New Haven, CT I talked to my friend that I had never heard of Khruangbin, and was only going to see Men I Trust. I was soon to be awe-struck by both of their performances. While I pulled into the parking lot after the hour's drive, I was nearly out of breath out of excitement to see Men I Trust. While walking into the venue, I was greeted with the coolest concert staging. The stage became unreal at night; disco balls hung from the ceiling, a platform stood high with multiple LEDs, and there was a grass seating area where people could just chill and lay down on a picnic blanket much like festivals I was used to going to in New York. It was a nice small venue, so I had no problem getting barricade for one of my favorite artists..the openers for one of the most legendary bands I didn't even know existed before this concert, Khruangbin. This allowed me to also take some of my favorite concert pictures of any artist I have shot on film.
Men I Trust are one of the most essential bands in the indie-pop genre, which makes them the perfect band to open a show as they did. Their dreamy essence easily filled up the venue, and soon everyone was swaying to Emmanuelle Proulx's beautiful riffs on the guitar and fairy-like voice singing their song Sugar. Her voice, although subtle and quiet continued to fill up the venue which played along with smooth instrumentals by Jessy Caron on bass and guitar. She almost sounded unreal and the way the sun shone on her face made me think she was ethereal. The disco balls reflected the light around the stage and Dragos Chiriac made his debut in the Seranade of Water. His work with the keyboard and synth was beyond impressive, and the waves that flowed out of his instruments were nothing short of insane. He has a way of playing like popular indie artist Tame Impala and seems like his fingers are guided by his soul rather than a sheet of music. After getting caught up in Seranade of Water I realized that it was sunset, and appreciated the moment even more. As Tailwhip, my comfort song started to play, I peered over the stage into the sunset, I could feel their music.
Anyone who stepped foot in this concert would easily realize how talented this group is. Their ability to consistently create music that sounds the same during concerts and on streaming platforms blows my mind away. Their performance continually gave me chills, and I was left with the initial feeling of why I go to concerts; to feel bliss and feel at peace.
After my experience with Men I Trust I was so fulfilled I nearly wanted to go home, but I told myself I needed to stay to see what this band they were opening for sounded like. Thank god I did. By this time, it was dark outside and the true potential of the stage was reached. Pink, purple, blue, and white lights gleamed from underneath the platforms, and the disco balls glittered the stage with lights that sparkled perfectly on Khruangbin. All of the members in this trio sing, but it's mostly instrumental. Their neo-hypnotic music filled my ears as they were playing August Twelve and I nearly cried out of awe. Shortly after that song, Mark Speer performed the most amazing cover guitar solo to MF DOOM's Rap Snitches Knishes which, if you've ever heard of it, is a super impressive song to play. MF DOOM is one of my favorite artists of all time, and this tribute to him was probably the best thing that could have happened to me that night. In addition to that solo, he played the iconic "Pulp Fiction" famous Miserlou by Dick Dale and shredded. Laura Lee's performance in Time (You and I) and cover of The Shadows Apache and bass skills were on point. Her strong but sweet vocals made it so I could still focus on the mesmerizing instrumentals. "DJ" Johnson Jr's drum performance throughout the whole show was amazing, including his vocals. With his drum set on the platform and fog coming onto him, he really knew how to create a mood to keep people intertwined in their music. By the end of the show, I had to leave a little early so I missed seeing their last song People Everywhere (Still Alive) on the stage, but I had the best walk to the parking lot hearing their vocals and guitar from outside.
No concert has ever made me appreciate music more than the Men I Trust and Khruangbin concert. This experience completely transformed my music tastes and my appreciation now for certain genres and made me remember the real reason why I started going to concerts. The sound technicians at this show did a flawless job with the audio, in addition to the light technicians doing a phenomenal job of creating a psychedelic feel to the show. Men I Trust and Khruangbin created the best vibes in a concert that I've been to. You can find all of these artists on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, Amazon Music, etc. I would rate this concert an 8.5/10 and I look forward to possibly seeing them again in the future.
If you are interested in the setlist I made a little playlist (Men I Trust and Khruangbin):