Nat and Alex…Through the Years
You might be wondering why the names “Nat and Alex Wolff” may sound familiar, and I can assure you that they are. Nowadays Nat is in those John Green movies and co-starring in films with James Franco, and Alex is busting into the indie movie scene as well as theater productions, but to me and many others they are the Naked Brothers Band or simply Nat and Alex. I’m going to tell you a little bit about my most favorite Nat and Alex concert if that’s alright :)
Yes, as a 16 year old, I went from my home of Philly up to NYC just to see the two brothers who had previously run through my 3rd grade dreams. And let me tell ya, I was on Cloud 9 that night.
After driving for a few hours and hopping onto some subways, my friend and I found ourselves on the sidewalk outside of the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, a place that we would revisit many times in our future. Buzzing with anxiety, my friend and I discussed what we would say to them, as we had splurged and bought the $20 tickets that included a meet and greet (how times and prices have changed.) As we approached the door I tugged on my crop top that was all of the sudden feeling a little too cropped, and I could feel the nerves rising in my throat.
After a moment of confusion with the ticket guy, we were let inside of the venue, and standing maybe 10 feet from us were Nat and Alex. They were finishing up soundcheck when suddenly a rush of girls came and stood in front of them. All of us felt comfortable around each other, realizing that we were the “real fans” who knew songs from their album “Black Sheep”. Looking back at that it’s kinda funny…but at the time it was the real deal. We got in line and were trying to figure out what we would say once it was our turn, and my friend exclaimed how she brought flashcards and a sharpie, so we figured were set in terms of what they would sign.
This was not the first, or last, time we had met these brothers, but we were nervous as hell. As soon as we reached the front of the line, our “cool” demeanor had disappeared as we tried to make small talk with these two teen boys. Talking to teen boys is hard enough, but that does not compare to talking to the boys that you used to listen to on your iPod on a daily basis. We asked Nat to sign our phone cases, and when we asked Alex to sign our notecards, he got a real kick out of it. “Is that a flash card???” he asked and soon I accidentally embarrassed my friend by blurting out “SHE HAS 8 IN HER BAG.” He laughed and wrote school type facts on the cards, and then we got our picture taken!
The concert itself was like a dream come true, hearing songs off of the album, as well some NBB songs. Crazy Car still warms my heart to this day. It was incredible being so close to them and to the people around me, who were just as excited as I was to be there. Getting to make an even better connection with my friend through shouting lyrics (waaaay too loudly for such a small setting) was something I will never forget! The energy was insane, Nat going crazy during Body I Occupy, and Alex bringing the teen angst levels up during Disappointed . These two can bring energy like no other, making the audience feel included and part of the set. Oh wow I miss these concerts.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have seen them perform multiple times…5 to be exact. This might be extreme but as I went from 14–18 I still felt the love for them in my heart, so I felt the need to continue seeing them. I’m not sure if they ever really remembered my friend and I, but we like to pretend that they TOTALLY did. Each concert was more or less the same, each time giving me that sense of excitement and bliss. Something about listening to Nat and Alex reminds me of home, and as a homesick college freshman, reliving these experiences has given me a sense of comfort.
Once again, there is something about being near the music you love, in a safe space with people who are feeling the same way you are, that is truly special. :)
Nat and Alex have recently put out a new album, Public Places, and I highly recommend that you give it a listen. It is really, really good. I’m not just saying this since I used to be a “super fan” and my love for their music will always run deep, I am saying this because this album is truly brilliant. Filled with upbeat tracks that any young adult can relate to as well as songs that appeal to the emotional journey that one takes when dealing with the ups and downs of love, these tunes will be stuck in your head for days (and you will be happy about that.)
The song Rollin’ Around has released a groove in me that has yet to leave, and every time I put my headphones in and listen to that track, it is impossible for me not to have a huge smile on my face along with my shoulders moving to the beat. For some reason, this song reminds me a lot of Alex’s short film Boots. I know that the song The Way It Seems is the most related to that film, since it is actually in it, but something about the lyrics of Rollin’ Around make me think of Boots. At the end of the short film, Alex speaks of how we view ourselves and our age, and something about Rollin’ Around just connects with that.
Boots could be an entire article on its own! I loved that short film quite a bit, especially since I am similar in age to Alex, so I felt incredibly connected to the story. It’s funny and it’s real and you should watch it, it’s on the Nat&Alex youtube channel!
Two other great tunes on this album, (they are all great but these ones ~stand out~), are Passing Through and Should I See You Again. They both are able to convey a specific feeling of emotion, one of romance and a sort of nostalgia. No, not the kind of nostalgia you get when you are watching a cartoon and you miss being 7 years old, but the kind for a time that might not have happened yet, a time of yearning and love for someone or something. These songs are just so good, and it’s difficult to explain how they will make you feel, because they lend themselves to the listener allowing them to decide what the songs are supposed to mean to them.
One cool thing about this album, is that a few of the songs are ones that the duo have been performing at concerts for the past couple of years. Its exciting that I have heard a few of these songs only ever live before, and now I have the option to listen to them on my phone whenever I feel like it!
Like I said, this album is great. Now do yourself a favor and go give it a listen!
While you’re at it, go to iTunes and check out Alex’s next movie Coming Through the Rye!