Midway through the set list Fiction Family had put together for their show at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, I remember thinking "This is for real...this has become more than just a side project for Sean[img_assist|nid=922|title=Fiction Family's Jon Foreman|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=285|height=190] Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Jon Foreman (Switchfoot)." And I can't say that the prospect of seeing more Fiction Family shows and several follow up albums bothers me in the least.
I'm a huge fan of Fiction Family, so attending the show in Asheville was a given, especially considering the rarity of these shows and the fact that Asheville is just a four hour drive from my home. I was originally drawn to the band because of my great affection for both Nickel Creek and Switchfoot, and the fact that I've now experienced two Fiction Family shows is not something I take for granted. There are PLENTY of fans who still have yet to see these guys in action.
I was fully aware at both the Atlanta show in January and this Asheville show that I was in the presence of musicians who posess not only a profound talent but also a profound passion for what they do. And while the Atlanta show, for me at least, was marked by all the feelings th[img_assist|nid=923|title=Sean Watkins of Fiction Family|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=187|height=280]at come with the "first time" one does anything highly anticipated, this second show seemed more solid and rooted and... permanent. The tiny venue was packed with fans who ranged in age from teens to the elderly, and friends, they LOVED Fiction Family.
There seemed to be a level of trust between band members that would only come with mutual respect, and Jon Foreman acting as front man for the majority of the set, seemed to be incredibly comfortable in the venue and with his band mates. But it was more than the chemistry on stage that gave the band a more solid, settled feel. There was a palpable musical "fit" that is simply unmistakable. I was a little overwhelmed with how tightly this band played together and how the harmonies (aided by Sean's sister Sara who opened the show with her solo work) were so close that overtones consistently rang throughout several songs. This is the stuff of great music, and the show that lasted slightly over two hours was so fluid that I was surprised that amount of time had passed when the finale came.
Although it's been nearly a week since I attended this show, snatches of it keep playing through my head. And the impressions that come with those flashes are the kinds of things we live for. I'm thankful for the experience of the Asheville show, but I think I'm more thankful that Sean Watkins and Jon Foreman took the opportunity to create music together and share it with the rest of us. If they continue to be as well received as they seem to have been for the shows they've played thus far, I'm sure we are in for more from these two. I daresay this band isn't leaving the metaphorical stage without doing several encores, and I honestly hope they hang around for a very long time. And we will all benefit from the "for real" factor Fiction Family brings to their music and to the stage.
To see images from this show, click HERE