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Parachute gives Charlottesville high-energy, two-day show

Local band gives faithful audience one heck of a show

If you weren’t at the Parachute concerts Nov. 29 and 30 at the Jefferson Theater, you missed out on a high-energy show jam-packed with great music and fantastic performers. The two-night event featured songs from the band’s first album on one night and songs from its second album on the second. As a member of the audience the second night, I felt I received more than my money’s worth out of the concert, with 17 songs from Parachute and about seven from opener von Grey.

Parachute consists of five young men who are actually from Charlottesville, some of whom are University alums. At one point, lead singer Will Anderson shared an anecdote about how the band’s first performances were outside of Miller’s, the bar across from the Jefferson. The Charlottesville connection added a friendly, personal touch to show, and it meant the lucky hometown audience was privy to bonus performances and songs the band had never performed before.

The performance started off with opening act von Grey, an alternative band of four sisters from Atlanta, Ga. Ranging from 11 to 17 years old, these girls were pretty much the coolest teenagers ever. They each played several instruments, including the cello, violin, mandolin, banjo, guitar, keyboards and an even a strange electronic drum. Their songs were energetic, albeit containing somewhat creepy lyrics about things like drowning and Gollum from Lord of the Rings. They were also amazing to watch. It felt like we were watching them rocking out at their house.

On the second night, the band played through their full album The Way It Was; all nine songs, as well as five songs from their debut album Losing Sleep, a few cover songs and a new song from their third album, which they are about to start recording. Perhaps the most fun parts of the show were the random jam sessions, for which they brought out their crew members on guitars and keyboard player Kit French jammed on his saxophone. The guys of Parachute were even cool enough to come back on for a 30-minute encore.

Of course, a huge part of the concert experience is the audience. The audience at the Friday evening show could not have been any more excited to be there. They were all singing along with every word and swooning over the more emotional songs. When the band threw their guitar picks and drumsticks out into the crowd at the end of the night, the expressions on the faces of people who caught them were priceless.

Fortunately for those who missed it, the band promised to come back after their third album comes out, and everyone should check them out — they give a killer live show. But don’t buy all the tickets, because this writer is going to want one, too.


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