Show Review: Men I Trust at the Roxy

Green, red and yellow lights cast shadows on the stage and the swaying bodies in the crowd.

“I need whispers that make me move.”

The bassist, Jessy, turns his back to the crowd, and the drummer throws him a smile. The happens time and time again. With his head down, the synth player, Dragos, is in his own ethereal world.  But Emma, she’s always been ours.

“Riding the country for driving’s sake.”

There is a refined harmony between the four of them. Drums provide the foundations, while synth, guitar and bass complicate the sound in a brilliant arrangement — all lending to the elevation of Emma’s silvery vocals.

“Sync me within the outside world.”

The mosh pit is sitting this one out and no one seems to mind. I know I don’t. At the same time it’s weird how sense of space changes when the band is onstage. There is someone within two inches of every part of me, but we like it like this. Without the crowd —if I was standing alone— there’d be too much pressure to soak up the sound.

“So I can better miss my home.”

As the four members of Men I Trust walk off the stage, I hold my breath. It’s that forever moment after the set is finished where the room silently and collectively wonders if it’s really the end.

Chants arise from the temperate crowd. We want another song.

“I just came back to switch out my guitar, but now it’s awkward,” said lead singer Emma.

A pause. Five hundred eyes stare back at her.

“Do you guys want another song?”

She read our minds. The remaining band members and their guest drummer resume their positions.

They crowd is swaying again. I am swaying again. We’ve forgiven them their sins of abandonment. It’s like they never left.

They finally leave the stage for good. The colorless lights turn back on overhead. It’s as if someone, probably security, unplugged a drain as we’re all sucked out the front doors, spinning before we fall through.

Outside The Roxy, the streets of Weho are wide and clean. On the western horizon a single building breaches the sea of twinkling lights below it. To the east, several bars and commercial buildings crawl up the slanted street.

A building probably 50 stories high loom over us. Several professionals peer down through the glass at us. The best show we can put on is waving at them. And though we gave our best possible performances, the reviews weren’t great and they returned to their presumably pressing jobs.

I laugh as a man with cigarettes avoids the inevitable of sharing his. And then like that, I’m in the car headed home.

Written by Jenny Lee