Photo by Gareth Sedam
Last night marked my third time seeing Tally Hall live, and let me say, it does not get old. Without even realizing it, I selected the second and final dates of this tour to attend. They were lively and wonderful in the beginning, and not any less impressive by the end of their tour. The set list was entirely different for this show (which I imagine was for the sake of their own sanity, but it was a pleasant change for me as well).
We arrived in Millvale/Pittsburgh shortly after 6. The area was unlike any surrounding a venue I have ever seen. It was a tiny village with lots of San Franciscan hills and a converted church theater smack dab in the middle. My brother thought we were going to die driving down the steep brick road Mr. Small's theater was on.
April Smith and Casey Shea were both unable to perform last night, so SleepyV opened up with a very energetic set. SleepyV's lineup included guitar, bass, drums, and trumpet. I have to say, trumpet in a rock/pop band lineup wasn't something I expected. The crowd was very receptive of SleepyV, clapping and cheering even though they were complete strangers to more than half of the audience.
I was afraid for a moment that Tally Hall had gotten too big to do their own sound checks, but they did. I'm not convinced that they will on a future tour, they seem to have collected quite the fan-base at this point. I was in the second row, so I had a much better view at this show than Ann Arbor (not as close as San Francisco though). And it was great. I could swear that Joe was looking directly in my direction, so I didn't take many pictures because it felt strangely rude. They played "Greener," which is one of my favorites (I have many). And once again, they ran "Never Meant To Know" into "Pure Imagination," which I have a very strong love for. Bora sang lead for a verse of "Pure Imagination," and his voice was lovely. They did a legitimate encore this time, they left the stage and everything. When the lights finally came up, I was still hoping it wasn't over.
They came out and met the fans as usual, and I was able to finally complete the signatures on my CD liner notes. This was the first show that I didn't talk to Andrew, which was a little weird for me, but I got his signature at the San Francisco show when he was the only one I got to meet properly because of the limited time Rooney meet-and-greet. Bora did notice, as Andrew did, that I have the "old school" Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum. I hate to shatter anyone's illusions by telling them that I ordered it from FYE in 2009 when I became a fan of them. I didn't really talk to Zubin or Ross because I didn't know what to say. I got a picture with Joe and then after my brother had gotten his ticket signed and I was walking away, he called us back and gave us a hug. I was a little confused by that, in part because I thought he was going for a handshake at first. He told us "And...see you again?" which made me wonder whether he recognized us from Ann Arbor or was just inviting us to future shows. We did stand near him for a really long time in Ann Arbor, waiting to get a picture and then finally giving up.
It was a really great show, with a wonderful audience and a powerful energy that's amazing for any kind of show and surprising for the last date in the tour.