By Spike Brendle
If ever I have an opportunity to see Milo Greene, I most certainly will make any effort to take advantage of that opportunity. A little more than a month ago, I was shocked to open my Instagram and see that Andrew Heringer was parting ways with the band. There is nothing out of place here: something or someone that I enjoy more than most things gets taken away from me. In this case, history is not repeating itself. In the next week we were gifted with a new demo the band had been working on, as well as the first date of their 2016 performances, in the form of a free show at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California; of course I am going to make the six-hour trip to see them!
Driving in California is fun? The 405 seems like more of a game: you can play as the good guys (Team Landmine) and drive stoically, keeping your position until you reach your destination; the other side of the spectrum, you can play as the bad guys, (Team YOLO) and drive excessively over the speed limit, weaving in and out of the Landmines with complete disregard for any lane change indicators. I arrived safely at the venue, slid past the ten-dollar parking, and began my trek to the show.
There were a few handfuls of people at the show, crowded around small tables or lined up at the food trucks. There was also a full bar available, along with life-size Jenga and checkers, but I was about four hours into my day and still fighting one of the worst hangovers in recent memory…so I strayed away from anything fun and/or requiring extra effort on my part. Once Milo Greene took the stage, the crowd focused its attention to the stage and it started to feel like a normal show.
With a new guitarist on board, they came out and got right into their set. They were the only band performing, which was a nice treat to the brave Southern California audience that made it out, despite the below normal temperatures of 55 degrees. Most of their set consisted of songs from their latest album, Control, which was released last January. “White Lies,” “Heartless,” and “Lonely Eyes” were highlights from their new album, while “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” “Perfectly Aligned,” and the obvious closer, “1957,” were sprinkled through the set list from their first, self-titled album.
Marlana Sheetz took some time to thank the crowd for coming out, and showing support for everything they’ve done. “Robbie (Arnett) and I actually left our apartments, which is a big deal,” she explained. While not going into much detail regarding the withdrawal of Heringer, they enticed the crowd by letting us know they have a whole batch of new songs they have been working on since their last tour, and teased us with their latest release “Dozen Times.” “You guys are the first audience to ever hear that song live,” she continued to entice the audience. “We always knew history would be made here at the Segerstrom Center For The Arts in Costa Mesa, California, ever since the very beginning back in 2010.”
The sound was on point, the band was in good spirits, and the crowd was loving every second if it. After the group singalong of their closing track “1957,” the band invited everyone to come say hi and visit with them before they left. Excited and nervous because I am a fanboy, I jumped in line, eager to shake some hands, smile, and stumble over my words. They were very excited to hear that I drove out from Phoenix, and expressed their love for Crescent Ballroom and their burritos. I did my part as a loyal Phoenician to invite them back, whenever they like - okay fine, I begged them.
After a tough past month, they have shown that they, for one, will not give up, and they are only looking forward to the future, as well. Milo Greene continues to be one of my favorite bands, and I can’t imagine the past few years of my life without them. If Milo Greene is reading this, please know this: I play bass, can learn guitar, and am currently looking for a job. Also Curtis: my top Austin City Limits acts other than The Strokes were BORNS, Daughter, and Hozier. Damn that Hozier.