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Imagine a band has driven hours through the night to cram their gigantic sign and gigantic sound into your tiny living room. They have never played in your town. They set up on a stage so small that their bass amp cannot fit on it. The bassist does not admit defeat. He plants his amp right next to your stage and dances on top of it all damn night until you're dancing too. The bass player.
But you were ready. You built a tiki bar and filled your floors with beach sand. You carried a pool and hot tubs to the stage. You came to party. Maybe you heard a couple soundcloud links, maybe you saw a couple photos. Something told you tonight was going to be different. By the end of the first set you were dancing your asses off, singing with a sweaty frontman to songs you had never heard. His glasses were fogged. By the end of the second set the drummer was standing behind his kit, the guitarist was sitting with his feet dangling off the stage almost touching you, and the sax player deftly squealed above it all.
this was your first bencoolen concert
Bencoolen has played a huge stages with Cold War Kids, the Mowglis, Marcus King Band, and with Big Something. Bencoolen has closed a street festival stage in Virginia. Bencoolen was in USA Today. Bencoolen has booked the legendary 9:30 Club in their hometown and toured the East Coast. That is a boring list of facts. That does not describe the experience. Maybe a little house party does not have the prestige or acoustics of a huge hall, but there are no shortcuts to meeting you. Whether the band plays for 4000 people again or plays for the capacity of your living room... this narrative is why Bencoolen's music has been called maximalist rock.
*Shout out to University of Virginia for making this a true story
** Shout out to The Rival's Garrett Cottingham on coining "maximalist rock"