September 22, 2023 – Bloomington, IL
Everyone has at least one artist that they ride or die for; growing up, I spent my middle school days on Twitter following One Direction’s every move (a post-Zayn era fan, if you will). Now, as my music taste matures along with my grown experiences, a different bill of music fits my daily life.
glaive is an artist that makes me feel okay when fully embracing the clunky awkwardness of my COVID-kid transition into adulthood. Mature yet cheeky lyrics, along with yearnings of youthful experiences, translates to music perfect for a successful live show that I had to see (twice). I had seen glaive live a few times before (once at Forecastle Festival in Louisville, KY and once on the America is a Place That Exists Tour in Columbus, OH), and knew the show would be worth seeing more than once. I remember being vividly impressed with his continual increase in stamina and ability to feed off crowd interaction; His stage presence, combined with the fiery nature of glaive super-fans, is a recipe for one of the most wild shows of your life.
The Cincinnati show definitely lived up to those expectations. Early on, it was funny to hear glaive’s own unreleased fan favorites on his pre-show playlist, and interesting to see who recognized the little references. The opener, Provoker, had enjoyable music but was hard to digest and lacked a solid connection with the audience. Generally, the small, dark and humid basement venue reminded me of a sweaty college house party, but instead with renowned explosive energy. After the crowd moshed and jumped during almost the entire set, glaive gave it a shot and climbed into the pit for his finale, “minnesota is a place that exists,” jumping around just like everyone else. I was just thankful that I didn’t pass out from the insane amount of exertion in the cramped space I shared with a group of random boys.
The next day, we tackled the five-hour drive to Bloomington, Illinois; a quaint town with a community of nice yet ‘rough around the edges’ type of people. Every person we talked to had traveled at least two hours for the show, which created a really magnetic dynamic of knowledgeable fans (everyone was up to date on the lore).
The Castle Theatre staff was incredibly kind and accommodating despite the fact that the built in seats made for a weirdly separated crowd. glaive’s team ran through both shows with insane efficiency, granting the rising star to run on stage quickly after the opening acts. His thoughtful stage set up included a Victorian style chair where glaive could croon to the crowd, and a massive camping tent where he changed outfits halfway through the show.
Through the bouncing, jumping, moshing and limbs flailing, we were still able to see everything. We wore cheap plastic crowns from Walmart and made homemade prom sashes that deemed my friend and I “the king of nothing” and the “queen of something”. It referenced his frantic, boppy rock song, “the prom,” where he sings,
“One day, I’ll be the king of something, one day I’ll be the queen of something. Right now, I’m just the king of nothing, right now I’m just the queen of nothing.“
As the song began, our new friends around us helped get glaive’s attention so we could properly crown him as the “queen of something”, with his own pink bedazzled crown and sash. Wickedly energetic and joyful, these shows were some of the most fun I could have imagined; they reminded me of all the great memories I have had at shows, and the real purpose of concerts: enjoying the music, making friends and solidifying memories.
Check out glaive’s debut album, “i care so much that i don’t care at all” on your favorite streaming platform.