Forgive me if this ends up being too sentimental. I'm sure I'm not the only person responding to this weekend with a reflexive blog post.
Five Iron Frenzy was a Christian third wave Ska band founded in 1995 and disbanded in 2003. On a late night car trip in 1997 I was whistling America from West Side Story which had been stuck in my head after watching in my 7th grade music appreciation class earlier that week. My brother heard it and recognized the melody, passed me his discman and put on Beautiful America.
I joined their message board within a year, though took some time off before coming back to it in 2001. From then until well after the band's demise Frenzyboard was the only internet community that's ever really actively engaged me. It's the only forum I've ever had more than a dozen posts on. I've not been to the site itself in seven years, but I still talk to the people I met there, and most of my vacations are spent visiting them.
Haven't been on the forum. Hadn't listened to the band too much. Barely even thought about them. And then kickstarter.
The back story on the kickstarter campaign is more inside baseball than anyone could need, but from what I gather the band reuniting was a fluke, a "sure, why not" in the face of a rumor that they were planning on it accidentally started by a fool and fed by leftover teenage angst. In any case they asked for $30,000 and within a few hours had tripled it. The final numbers were over $200,000, a kickstarter record that took Amanda Palmer to blow away. Plans for a new album expanded to a slew of shows ten years after they'd called it quits.
I don't believe I've ever seen FIF outside of churches, so it was fitting that the first time I see them as an adult it's in a bar converted from an old Baptist cathedral.
I've rarely been to a show (outside of every single The Aquabats show) where every person there was having the time of their life. It was mostly nostalgia, sure. But nostalgia for a time when we were all a bit less cynical, when we knew that while we may be treated like scum, there was always hope. Mind you there was room for cynicism (in case you didn't click that link up there to Beautiful America) but even in the low points we saw what might be, from Where 0 Meets 15 to Farsighted.
From my theology to my social consciousness to my sense of humor to my inability to care what other people think of me, FIF had a deep and lasting impact, some of which I'm only recently starting to embrace. So you'll forgive me if by the time they made it to Every New Day my throat was raw and my eyes were wet.