Until Next Time… Adios, SUPERHEAVEN
A very stoic yet always seemingly slightly angry friend of mine, Matthew Lippert, turned me on to DAYLIGHT (SUPERHEAVEN) sometime between 2009-2012 when we were living in Minneapolis, attending school, and generally hating on most everything together. He would come over for dinner on the regular and 9 times out of 10 was wearing a forest green DAYLIGHT t-shirt. He said he was friends with them so I figured he was just wearing the shirt because it was comfortable and they were “good dudes”. You know how this is. I don’t recall if he ever actually played them for me, or if I sought them out on my own. My gmail records show that my oldest brother Sean sent me a copy of JAR on April 24, 2013 (a few days before the record was released), so there’s that.
Since that time, JAR was on constant and loud rotation. On September 3, 2013, I finally got to see them at 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis. One of the singers, Taylor, was self-deprecating, sarcastic, made fun of Minneapolis and even the audience a little bit, and was unquestionably comical. His on-stage banter resonated with me and also reminded me so much of Lippert that I totally understood how those two are friends.
They played Chicago a couple of days later on September 5, which was perfect because I had an appointment to look at my now-house that day. My good friend and practically neighbor, Chris Fowler, accompanied me to the show.
[DAYLIGHT @ Bottom Lounge // Chicago, IL – September 5, 2013]
On March 7, 2014, I was up in Milwaukee for a Ring of Honor wrestling show. My best friend from Philly and I left the wrestling show at Turner Hall and raced over to The Rave to catch DAYLIGHT’s set! Then we had to race back to the wrestling show because he was technically working. I hope mentioning this doesn’t get him fired (not like he would care).
[DAYLIGHT @ The Rave // Milwaukee, WI – March 7, 2014]
They played Chicago a couple more times over the last few years. They even played Riot Fest in 2015. My older brother, Matt, watched them with me there. Looking back, I have no idea why I wasn’t at every single show they played in and around Chicago – probably for very stupid reasons. I do know I’m sad I missed them.
[SUPERHEAVEN @ Riot Fest // Chicago, IL – September 13, 2015]
When I learned their current tour was most likely the last tour they’d do, and likely the last show they’d play in Chicago, I was compelled to cancel other plans (going to hang out with friends at the Ring of Honor BITW shows in Collinsville, Indianapolis, and Columbus). I promptly bought my ticket to their Chicago show – in advance, mind you, a thing that Chicagoans notoriously do not do. I don’t have rich girl status by any means, so I bought a 9+ hour MegaBus ride ticket to Minneapolis for $12.50 for their show the day after their Chicago date and a cheap Southwest flight to get me back just in time to go straight to work on time Monday morning.
SUPERHEAVEN ran a contest on their social media to win some band swag, which is not typically something I would ever enter. Anyway, you know where this is going…I entered. I was notified via Twitter DM that I won DAYLIGHT’s The Difference In Good and Bad Dreams EP test press 12 of 15. Weird, but tight! I thanked them and asked what type of beers any of them might like (knowing that most don’t drink) because big-bro Sean wanted to bring some mini-growlers from Town Hall Brewery. I then offered them a place to crash in Chicago and/or Minneapolis if they needed it.
Their Chicago show at Subterranean started hecka early but I didn’t get there until just after 7:00pm. CREEPOID was already playing and there were maybe 25 people in the room. When SUPERHEAVEN went on, there were maybe 70 people there so I moved all the way up front as short people need to do. Fuck! They are so good. I don’t know what to say! They don’t play the type of music that you can necessarily “go off” to, but goodness gracious, I felt like I was restraining my whole body and resisting every urge to do just that. I laughed at every ridiculous joke that Taylor told. I wanted to air drum along to every single song. I air riffed along to several. I watched a few other kids in the crowd singing along and slowly bobbing their heads. Near the end of their set there was a small mosh pit that broke out and I smiled like a freaking goon watching those kids push mosh to SUPERHEAVEN. My heart felt full but also like it was going to implode because I understood it was almost the end. Their set was great – I loved it! I love them.
[SUPERHEAVEN @ Subterranean // Chicago, IL – June 3, 2016]
After their set, I waited around the venue while texting Lippert about the show – complaining about the lack of attendees and how bummed it made me that more people didn’t show out for them. Eventually, with Lippert’s coaxing, I awkwardly introduced myself to Zack, Jake, and Taylor (whom I’d apparently met before?). They kindly offered me some Stan’s Donuts that a very generous girl (@caitolms) gifted to them – on National Donut Day no less! SCORE! When the merch line died down, I introduced myself to Joe and confirmed their plans to crash at mine that night. I hung out for a while and helped carry gear down to the trailer. Then we went to get pizza at Dimo’s (that place is SO loud). We met back at my place and while I tried to get two of them set up with air mattresses instead of the couch and floor space, they weren’t having it. I asked Joe if I could cruise with them to Minneapolis instead of taking the MegaBus; he said yes (thank you)! Then we watched and laughed at Brooklyn Nine Nine on Hulu until lights out. They are undoubtedly the most easy-going houseguests I’ve ever had the pleasure of hosting!
The next morning, we were up at 8:00am and out of the house by 9:00am. We walked to Dunkin Donuts around the corner from my place, grabbed snacks, and then got in the van for an approximately 8-hour drive up to Minneapolis. Pretty sure the drive started out with George Michael’s “Faith”, but I could be mistaken. The drive was chill. We listened Andy Samberg on Marc Maron’s podcast. I read more of Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon. Dudes played on their phones and they even made a movie trailer for Jake’s upcoming flick (still no idea if this is actually real but it if is, I am excited to see it)! We stopped a couple of times including at not one, but two Quizno’s. The second Quizno’s had a much better review on Yelp so we were compelled to dine there with sponsored gift cards instead. Taylor drove the whole way to Minneapolis despite my asking every time we stopped if he wanted me to take over. We got to Minneapolis just after 5:00pm and even sketchily but accidentally drove on the light rail tracks for a minute (oops!).
We arrived to the Mill City Nights venue and it was raining a little bit while we loaded in equipment. I carried some heavy gear downstairs to The Nether Bar, while wearing flip-flops even, and valued feeling useful again (not something I often get at my day-job). When we were done with that, some of us hung outside and occasionally chatted up teenaged youth about BUCKFEST that was happening upstairs. It sounded like a terrible talent show to us but those teenagers were fucking STOKED on it and adamant that it was NOT a talent show! Yeah, yeah…sick, bro, sick. Whatever… moving on.
At the show, I was happy to cross paths with Chris (Zartan), formerly of the Triple Rock Social Club and current GM of Mill City Nights! We used to work together when I’d book shows at the Triple Rock and he was always a total delight. I was very glad to see his smiling face again!
Eventually, my mini-bro Mike showed up and we watched THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE together. Big-bro Sean arrived finally and together we all watched CREEPOID. Though, admittedly, I kept getting distracted by all the teens from BUCKFEST walking through The Nether Bar on their way to the restrooms. Then it was finally time.
It was time for my brother’s and I, who all love and respect this band so much, to experience their first and (most likely) our final time seeing SUPERHEAVEN. There were maybe 30 people watching them and while that bummed me out, I was trying my best to live in the moment and let myself get a little more swept away than I had the previous night. I think having my brother’s by my side made me feel a little less self-conscious about head banging, air drumming, and air riffing along a little bit. It was super rad to watch SUPERHEAVEN with my brothers, as it was their first time seeing them. I did my best to enjoy their set without getting sad but instead being thankful that I am capable of loving their music so much that it makes my whole body swell with feelings. It was truly bittersweet.
[SUPERHEAVEN @ The Nether Bar // Minneapolis, MN – June 4, 2016]
After the show, my brothers and I helped them carry gear upstairs and out to the trailer. Taylor very skillfully and impressively Tetris-packed that sucker! We hung out for a bit. Jake and I even went upstairs to check out a few minutes of BUCKFEST (what the fuck fest?). Once everything was all done there, the SUPERHEAVEN dudes and us Lipinski siblings went over to Grumpy’s on Washington Avenue for some unhealthy food. We all got nice and stuffed and then went to Sean’s house to crash out in his basement. Sean kept Jake up talking about gear and nerdy musician stuff. At 7:00am the next day, they left and I felt a little empty. I still feel that but I haven’t figured out what or why it is.
Three days after the show passed, I asked my brothers to give me their thoughts on the show, Mike said, “They played super well and it was a good set.” If I had to guess, I’d say he was a teensy bit high when I called him. Sean said, “Dude was funny!” He also said, “It was surprising how good of a guitar tone they got out of those dumb Fenders.” I think he was joking…? No idea. Sean thought there should have been at least 100 people there and voiced that they are so much better than the credit they are getting. That comes from his musician and personal taste in music standpoints. He wondered if maybe they don’t appeal to the younger crowd as much – but it’s hard to say because he thinks they would. He went on to say, “I think they’re one of the best bands out. No, I would say that they are THE BEST band I have heard in a long time.” I wholeheartedly agree!
My personal opinion is that they’re going to be like a cult classic. People underestimated them or didn’t give them a chance by even listening while they were touring. Yet once they’re done and people somehow come across hearing them, they’ll will kick themselves for having missed out. Honestly, you can’t listen to them and not like them! If you do, I hate you. Get out of my life. OK, it’s not really that severe, but seriously, what’s wrong with you?!
Truthfully, I don’t know how to quantify or appropriately convey my love for SUPERHEAVEN. Describing feelings is difficult for me (most people probably). For real though, I love them. They’re so special to me. I’m so glad that stoic-ass Lippert turned me on to them several years ago. I’m thankful that my brother’s appreciate them much in the same way I do and that our sibling bond is strengthened just a little bit more because of their music. I am delighted that I was able to give them places to crash on this tour, even just for two nights. I smile knowing that I have friends around the country that are making it a priority to catch them on this tour and take time to share their experiences with me afterward.
Do yourself a solid… go listen to SUPERHEAVEN. Right now. Just get on iTunes or YouTube or whatever and listen to them. Over and over again. And if you live near where they’re playing, go check them out on the remainder of this tour. I implore you to do so. If you read this far, you know you want to know what all my fuss is about – so just do it.
[GO SEE SUPERHEAVEN, DAMNIT! Please and thank you!]
by Caitlin Lipinski (@caitxedge)