Manchester Orchestra Live at the Leon Loft
On September 27, 2017, the haunting melodies and two-part harmonies of Manchester Orchestra filled the Leon Loft as we were joined by the band’s frontman Andy Hull and lead guitarist Robert McDowell. They opened with The Gold, a track from their fifth full-length album A Black Mile to the Surface. The band spoke of how the album was written as one continuous song, using the space between each song thoughtfully to create new scenes and characters.
“We challenged our own boundaries in terms of songwriting. We definitely broke a lot of our own rules,” said Hull.
A Black Mile to the Surface was inspired after the band created an entirely acapella score for the feature film Swiss Army Man, a story about a marooned, suicidal castaway who finds hope in an unlikely companion who washes ashore. After composing vocal tracks that packed an emotional punch without instrumentation, the band’s creativity soared, leading them to write the songs that would become A Black Mile to the Surface.
“It [Swiss Army Man] definitely inspired us to write these emotional pieces. So we made sure that each piece there, right down to the outros on our album, would have purpose,” said Hull. “In the film, the story is happening in the main character’s head, so it’s made up as he goes, which was a real challenge. It definitely pushed us into a new creative space in terms of thinking about our album. Sometimes you have to do the opposite of what your first instinct is. And it was really interesting.”
The band performed other tracks including The Alien, Cope, and Colly Strings just before wrapping up and heading out to perform that evening at The Fillmore in Detroit.
You can watch Part 2 of Manchester Orchestra’s performance at the Leon Loft here and view photographs from the show on Facebook.
Because music is our first love, we created the Leon Loft, a dedicated performance space at our headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI. At this intimate, live venue, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming some of today’s biggest artists for a live recording of Acoustic Café with Rob Reinhart, all broadcast live on ann arbor’s 107one. For more information about the Leon Loft, visit www.leonloft.com or watch past performances on our YouTube channel.