When my Dad turned 50, he got cool. He suddenly started listening to bands like Nada Surf, Fleet Foxes, and Band of Horses, and going to all of their respective shows. Music is his ‘thing’ and it’s one of the few interests that we have in common. We have a running tradition of seeing a gig together when I am in the States, and this time around he was eager to introduce me to one of his favorite bands, Carbon Leaf.
They were playing in Maryland, which is a bit of a haul from my parent’s in Maine, so on Wednesday morning we got up bright and early to catch a flight down to Baltimore.
After a quick bite to eat, we picked up our rental car and set off on the first driving-leg of our journey. Carbon Leaf were playing in Annapolis, so we had a bit of a road trip around Maryland.
We arrived at our hotel in Annapolis mid-afternoon. After a long bath and a little nap, we were ready to gig-out!
Carbon Leaf were playing at The Ram’s Head Tavern, a quaint sit-down venue with not one bad seat in the house.
At 8pm sharp Carbon Leaf took the stage, and you could immediately understad why my dad is so obsessed.
Their smooth, indie rock vibe was refreshingly infused with just enough Celtic and folk flare to captivate the audience and keep your foot tapping all night long! You can listen to two of my favorites here and here.
The show was amazing, and on top of being incredibly talented, the members of Carbon Leaf were wonderfully charismatic.
Barry, the lead singer, had us in stitches all evening, accidentally ripping, changing, and chucking his pants mid-show, which evolved into an intimate conversation (with the entire audience) about “manties” (man + panties).
Carbon Leaf were the only act and the show went on for almost 3 hours. They have a whole Christmas album, so the show was an extended special and speckled with lots of holiday cheer. After a great evening, we headed back to the hotel for some seriously needed R&R. The next morning, we again got up bright and early with the intention of seeing a bit of Baltimore and Washington DC before flying home.
First stop was a quick drive-through of Baltimore. My sister and I had never been, and we were eager to catch a better glimpse of the city. The red brick buildings, giant seaport, and old mismatched streets were very similar to (my childhood hometown of) Boston, and the endless supply of crappy drivers confirmed the sentiment.
The architecture was beautiful, and the city seemed relatively relaxed and friendly.
However, our Baltimore sightseeing was confined to the car, as we wanted to spend the majority of the afternoon in DC.
We first checked out the Capitol building, before parking and walking over and through the National Capital parks.
We strolled past the World War II memorial, walking along the Reflecting Pool towards the Lincoln Memorial.
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, we had a beautiful view of the Washington Monument.
Before heading over to the last attraction on out list, The White House.
We didn’t have much time before we had to hop back in the car and head up to BWI airport for our flight home. It was a whirlwind awesome music, family time, and USA heritage. Definitely a trip to remember!!