Sometimes when you meet the mind behind a piece of art you enjoy, it’s a disappointing experience, one that taints whatever it was that drew you to the artist in the first place. Fortunately, that was not the case with David Moore of Bing and Ruth.
But let me start at the beginning.
I first heard “Postcard from Brilliant Orange” and “Police Police Police Police Police” on the Take Away Show by La Blogotheque; that was sometime in the fall of 2015. It was also a time of spiritual angst, the kind of experience that teaches you more than your whole life up to that point. I had been doing well for myself, accomplishing more than in previous years, yet still feeling totally lost, hopeless and helpless as I drifted through my fourth year of undergrad. Everyday I was jumping between genres, looking for new sounds and styles, hoping for an impetus to recovery. The first two notes of “Postcard from Brilliant Orange” captured me (they still give me chills). That song alone fueled me and cast me into some new realm of reality, graced me with something like Bucke’s cosmic consciousness. I needed more. Tomorrow Was the Golden Age became a big player in my journey. I loved the emotion that poured out of the simple, yet elegant, songs. It was fresh, it was sincere, and it was exactly what I was looking for.
There were plenty of other bands on my roster: Sebastian Plano, Keaton Henson, 65daysofstatic, and a variety of other instrumental groups that have stuck with me to this day. But it was the music of Bing and Ruth that spoke to me in a bare bones way that kept them at the top of my queue. Tough times in a relationship? Bing and Ruth can help. Need to calm down before a track race? Throw on some Bing and Ruth. Skateboarding, writing a paper, just sitting in your room playing Microsoft Solitaire… Bing. And. Ruth.
So when I saw that Bing and Ruth would be playing in Chicago (for the first time), I bought tickets the hour they went on sale. The show was in a dumpy brick building that I first presumed to be abandoned. However, on the inside Constellation proved to be warm and charming – two small performance rooms separated by a quiet lounge with a full bar. After the first opening act I spotted Moore sitting next to the merch table in the lounge. With any kind of quasi-sophisticated art, I fear the creator might be a pretentious douche. I also always have a fear that anybody with semi-celebrity status might be insincere in talking with fans. I’m happy to say that Moore, and the rest of the band as I later found out, did not succumb to my preemptive judgement. Moore was not only kind when I approached to ask for an autograph, but even seemed enthusiastic in talking with me, answering my questions and asking some in return. Of course, I was a bit star-struck and couldn’t maintain a conversation or fully articulate what the group and their music meant to me, but it was a memorable experience none the less.
As for the actual performance – magical. My girlfriend and I sat front row, about eight feet from Moore at his piano, but I felt like I was somewhere inside the music. They played the entirety of their latest album, No Home of the Mind, without a single pause in the music. The execution was flawless and each song carried emotion that filled the room. Several times I closed my eyes and found myself taken away to some other, metaphysical, place.
Am I overstating it? Maybe a bit of a glamorized recollection? Who can say? I was there; I felt it. You don’t see it coming, but at some point while you’re listening, you feel it, something deep down that you thought you’d buried, a certain memory or emotion that you thought had been laid to rest. But don’t take my word for it, take a listen yourself. Check their calendar and find a show near you. They’re the real deal.