When I read the announcement on As Tall As Lions’ myspace that they were retiring back in early October, I was heartbroken. As a die hard fan for three years, I couldn’t accept that this was the end. The bright side to all of this was that they were playing a handful of shows the last couple of weeks in December for their “Farewell Tour.” I bought the tickets immediately, and on December 21st, 2010 I fortunately got the chance to see one of my favorite bands for the first and last time.
At around 9:30 P.M., As Tall As Lions graced the stage of the Highline Ballroom. The strobe lights then started to flicker, making the room seem like it was spinning, but in reality, I was standing perfectly still, right in between singer Daniel Negro and bassist Julio Tavarez. It was something I did not expect, considering this was a sold out show, but I was happy to be there regardless.
The band started off with “Circles” which was the single off their second album You Can’t Take it With You. They continued their perfect set with playing songs from all of their albums, even older tracks off their EPs Lafcadio and Into the Flood. I was relieved to hear some of my favorites, especially “Be Here Now,” which is one of my favorite songs of all time. They also played “A Break, A Pause,” which I did not expect since they only placed it once so far on the tour.
The highlight of the show for me was the start of the first encore. Daniel came out by himself. He talked and introduced “I’m Kicking Myself” and started to sing. He did not touch his guitar once. The crowd sang along and there was not one dry eye in the house. At the time of the show, I was emotionally attached to that song in particular and was feeling very vulnerable. It was almost as if the words were right in front of me reminding me of my feelings. It caused me to shed a few tears, which NEVER happens to me when I go to shows no matter what the situation. After it was over, I was relieved of all the tension I was feeling. Singing the words to that song helped me face what I was hiding inside.
The band had another encore before ending the show with fan favorite and single “Love, Love, Love.” As they took their final bow, I wished that life-rewind buttons and time machines existed. For years, As Tall as Lions has been one of the bands I have turned to for comfort and support. They have been my rock for so long that I’m still in denial to this day that they won’t be creating new music together anymore. I’m excited to hear more from their solo projects Blocks and Kilimanjaro, but I sincerely hope that they reconsider their retirement and come back in the future.