It’s interesting to imagine how much collective misery is in a venue of nearly 3,000 for a Frightened Rabbit show. Though, maybe collective misery results in some sort of happiness? No one goes to a concert hoping that they’ll be sad, right? Perhaps, instead, they are going to release their sadness in a cathartic way. So perhaps a Frightened Rabbit concert is the best way to gather collective misery and transform it into something else.
As Frightened Rabbit’s albums transition from emotions ranging from vindictive to confident, maybe the band’s fans have learned how to mold the messages of each song to fit their own lives and turn them into something inspiring. Obviously, some of Scott Hutchison’s lyrics’ meanings are going to be kept under wraps—only he will know the actual meaning to “Poke” or “State Hospital”—but there’s always that sense that these lyrics are malleable.
So, when a crowd yells back the lines from “State Hospital,” each different voice is applying it to some varied situation, and the burden of misery dissipates into the air. For the band, it comes off as triumphant, standing in front of its largest sold-out headlining show, and for the audience it is released as some sort of group therapeutic catharsis.
Misery aside, Frightened Rabbit can carry an enormous show—not that it hasn’t been able to before. The new songs shine even in the smallest moments, like the rush of energy after “I’m trapped in a collapsing building” is yelled during “The Woodpile” or the thunderous outro of “Acts Of Man,” which is the closest the band will get to hard-rock territory. Then, of course, there’s the chanting and clapping at the end of “The Loneliness And The Scream” at the end of the show, always a highlight. When 3,000 people gather to be miserable together, there’s a lot more screaming than loneliness.
All photos by Michael Zonenashvili.