Student Experience Blog

Blessed by a Post-Rock Bassist

I’m writing this post on Tuesday, and I’m expecting it to be published maybe by Friday of this week. I know I said I’d talk about my classes in my next post, but I have more interesting things that happened.

I had an interesting weekend; a lot of strange, scary, and cool experiences not directly related to C of I happened that fall generally under my winding yarn that makes up my tale in college.

My weekend started at 2:29 a.m. Friday morning with a phone call from my friend, Aaron. He was having trouble breathing combined with chest pain. It wasn’t how I expected my Friday morning to begin – driving my friend to the closest hospital and waiting in the lobby until 4:00 a.m. for news. Luckily, he is fine. Something within the last week and a half caused a trauma that created a tearing in his spleen. He’s currently recovering back at his home in Boise.

It’s shaking having a friend disappear from your life suddenly. It’s also an incredibly surreal experience, knowing that a lot of the campus is wondering about the same thing that you are. One of our own was missing.

The rest of my weekend was a lot more fun. Most of it was filled with live music. Boise is fortunately only 35 minutes away from Caldwell, and in addition to all the musicians who are pulled into the school’s gravity, a trip to Boise can provide you with plenty of opportunities to see great shows.

I went and saw 3 bands at Boise’s venue that Friday. The second band was just… ridiculous. My friends and I ended up describing it as something like this: “the personification of a person having all the symptoms of a flu simultaneously, who has broken into a meth lab, destroyed everything/inhaled the vapors and immediately afterwards was round house kicked by Chuck Norris.”

I’m still not sure if I liked it or if I’m still suffering from the effects of listening to it. Afterwards I was humorously given a free CD by the lead-singer.

However, The Green Zoo, a band composed of C of I music majors, was awesome. The group is the ultimate result of Tom Newby’s Gipson project that he presented to earn his degree from the College last year, but the musicians that form the group all have cut their teeth on various projects and are gaining synergy as they go.

I wrapped up my weekend with another concert, this time with the Austin-based indie band Explosions in the Sky. I was treated with a view a mere 6 feet away from one of their guitarists. Every single progression and chord as visible and clear as if I was playing them.

After the show, my group of friends and I were hanging out at the Boise Pita Pit less than a block from the theater where the show was held. We were then joined out of the blue by a familiar face: Carlos, the touring-bassist/supporting guitarist from Explosions.

He ate an after-show pita and talked to us for about 20 minutes about college and his life. It’s not impossible to imagine that performers like Carlos have walked similar paths to you and me, but when you’re watching these people on-stage I’m generally not thinking: “yeah, that guy has a degree in sociology, has led a seven-year career working at homeless shelters and wants to go back to school and get his master’s.”

After asking us for book recommendations, he departed with a simple farewell before fading into the night: “get home safe, and take care of each other.”

It felt less of a good-bye than a blessing by a rare beast. During our conversation, he expressed his concern for the world of uncertainty we as college grads will enter. It was a quiet moment, with a reminder of some of the little things. We can’t always control what happens in the world around us, but we can control how we treat the people in our lives, and where we choose to go.

Days can tend to blur together sometimes, but I think I’ll remember these.

One of my favorite “Explosions” songs

Samples of the Green Zoo’s Music

PHOTO: Explosions in the Sky - We met Carlos, who is the dark-haired guy in the back

-Andrew Moore