I love 100 Monkeys.
This statement may confuse some of you. You might be thinking "But, Jennifer, I thought you collected ladybugs?" or "Why 100 monkeys? Why not just 1 or 2?" Let me explain.
100 Monkeys is a band. Specifically, they are a band of incredibly talented and passionate musicians who also happen to be sweet, funny, and down-to-earth guys. Oh, and they are very easy on the eyes, I must add. It is nearly impossible to describe their music because it covers almost every style imaginable from rock to funk to blues to country. When explaining their sound to others, I tend to simplify it and call it "good time party music" but it is so much more than that. Their songs are fun and quirky but also serious and melancholy.
The first time I heard of 100 Monkeys was 2 years ago while I was online purchasing my ticket for TwiCon in Dallas. For those of you who don't know, Jackson Rathbone, who plays "Jasper" in the Twilight Saga movies, is also in 100 Monkeys and the band was playing a concert at TwiCon. This lead me to visit their website and check out their music. I only listened to snippets of a couple of songs but I could tell that it was different to what I normally listened to, so I decided to wait and see how their concert was.
In short, it was, well, short. I think they only played 4 or 5 songs but it was great all the same. What impressed me the most was, what the band refers to as, "The Monkey Switcheroo." These guys can each play multiple instruments, so they switch or change instruments depending on what song they are performing. It is incredible. It keeps things fresh and entertaining and it is so much fun to watch. They also take suggestions from the audience for an "improv" song every night! Needless to say, I instantly became a fan and even skipped the "Volturi Ball" at TwiCon to see them perform at a local Dallas club and then again at the after-party.
I've been a fan for 2 years now, following their website, facebook pages, and Twitter accounts, as well as buying all of the music they have released. They have only gotten better over the past couple of years, with their music and style gelling into a perfect eclectic sound, and I have been chomping at the bit to see them live again.
As soon as their summer tour dates for this year were announced, I made arrangements to see them in Dallas and Tulsa, just 3 days apart. To say I was giddy with excitement is putting it mildly. I was bringing Scott with me to Dallas but he was less than thrilled. I "encouraged" him to listen to their CDs but he was still unsure. I assured him that he would love them once he saw them perform live.
In Dallas, we were fortunate enough to get VIM (Very Important Monkey) tickets that allowed us to attend a "soundcheck party" with the guys. This "party" included a short acoustic set and the opportunity to take a picture with the band. We also received a t-shirt and autographed picture. It was incredible! There were only a handful of fans there at this time, so it was very intimate and special. Scott was griping that he was the only guy in the audience but I could tell he was having a great time.
We spoke to the band briefly while we took our pictures and they were so nice. They loved the fact that Scott was there! I imagine they don't get a lot of men at their shows, especially ones who will take a picture with them or ask for an autograph!
An hour later, the "real" concert started and it was nothing less than amazing. Bleeding Horse Express was one of the opening bands and they were great! If you like gritty, Southern rock music, then you should definitely buy their CD. Of course, the Monkeys rocked the house and Scott was able to witness me "fangirling" first hand. I even made some new facebook and Twitter friends in the audience, including some that were at the same TwiCon that I attended 2 years ago!
Having said that, let me clarify that I am not a fan of 100 Monkeys just because Jackson Rathbone is in Twilight. Being a fan of Twilight lead me to discover 100 Monkeys but I am a fan simply because I love their music. Seeing them perform live and witnessing their pure talent and love for what they do only makes me love them more.
The night was incredible and Scott even had fun, with the exception of a "Thwilla moment", but I'll save that story for later. It's best told in person, any way. We talked with the guys some more after the concert and they autographed a couple of things for us. I just can't gush enough about them!
Fast forward to 3 nights later..... Scott did not go with me to the Tulsa concert but my friend JennyKate did. I was so tickled that Scott and JK both saw their first Monkey show with me!!
Again, the show was great even though they didn't seem as energetic as they did in Dallas. I assumed it was because the Tulsa show was in a smaller venue but it could also be because they were exhausted! I got their autographs again and spoke to Jackson about being at the Dallas show. He remembered meeting Scott and even mentioned TwiCon for some reason but there is NO WAY he would have remembered meeting me there 2 years ago. I think he was just trying to be nice but, who cares?? He could've babbled about anything and I would've been thrilled! I also talked with Ben Johnson from the band and told him about a Twitter account that was dedicated to the fact that he wears tan pants all of the time. He laughed and assured me that he does, in fact, have more than one pair of tan pants. It was a very funny moment which, incidentally, awarded me with many cudoes from other Monkey Junkies and gave me even more facebook and Twitter friends!
It has been almost a month since seeing 100 Monkeys in concert and I miss them so much! I would watch them perform every night if I could! It's a good thing there are so many videos of them on YouTube. In fact, you can watch the 2 videos I posted from the Tulsa show to see the guys and have a giggle at JennyKate! I also posted the improv song from Dallas.
Thanks, again, 100 Monkeys for an incredible tour! Can't wait to see y'all again!
Please, check out their website at www.100monkeysmusic.com