Palpable excitement hummed through the air as fans of The Midnight wrapped around the building waiting for their turn through the doors of the Newport Music Hall the night of April 3, 2019.
The overwhelming diversity of the line, including all age groups wearing everything from reprinted Sweet Sixteen T- Shirts, original Motorhead shirts, and newer Gunship merchandise, is a testament to the appeal of The Midnight’s musical range—a scene untypical to most concerts.
The Midnight, classified as ‘synthwave,’ strikes a harmonious balance between a feeling of nostalgia and the here and now of millennials. The catchy beat of their music reaches across generations, as evidenced by the fans in line waiting for the concert, providing an emotional roller-coaster that anyone and everyone should want to ride. And let’s not forget a shout out to that sexy saxophone that’s been missing from my life.
Created 2012 by Jamison Tyler Lyle and Tim Daniel McEwen, The Midnight have released four albums as well as instrumental versions of their releases. They continue to produce inclusive songs such as America 2 and Wave, which reach across the lines that current affairs have drawn (you know what I’m talking about) and present something that everyone can relate to.
Hidden within the haunting electronic beats, America 2 offers unapologetic imagery with lyrics such as, “the dancer with bruises who gathers the cash // When the music is through, no she don’t look back // I’ve come to look for America too.”
Harsh and gritty, this song paints a picture that people of all ages can relate to: take what you need to survive while reaching for your dreams. No dream is too small to be desired and doing what you have to do in the here and now to survive does not mean you are giving up. It means you are a survivor. It’s the first step in moving forward.
With its infectious beat and Lyle’s preternatural voice, Wave holds nothing back as it paints a picture of the future millennials are facing, a future in which they did not shape. Bold lyrics such as, “On our shoulders is a boulder of a debt we cannot pay,” and, “We don’t want our parent’s china or their ticker tape parades // We are not a sentimental age.”
Lyrics that draw imagery that sets apart the desperation of this generation to the synthetic beat of the previous one. This is not the only message of the song.
Reaching for hope and togetherness across all lines of diversity and economic hardship The Midnight lays their dreams on the table, “When I dream, we’re all melting together, synchronized in a mass embrace”.
The simple brilliance of their music and depth of their lyrics makes The Midnight a true force in their music space. With their first album released almost five years ago and their American Australian tour wrapping up so successfully, I would be hardly surprised if they transition to mainstream radio in a short span. With four albums, in and each one is start to finish, an exercise of talent and momentum.
If you are new to the scene, I highly suggest starting at their first album Days of Thunder. Roll down the windows in the car and enjoy the sexy rev of the saxophone. It’s perfect for a night time drive.
And remember “in the dark there are no strangers.”