NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Members of the reflective indie band Willimantic Trail uncharacteristically planned an elaborate routine in response to “Free Bird” song requests and are eagerly awaiting someone to shout it out, inside sources confirmed.
“We’ve been traveling with four treadmills just for this bit. The lights are timed, we’ve got bird outfits under these tear-away pants, and we’ve even rigged Sammy with a harness so he can cap it off with a high-flying solo,” shared drummer Derek Hoss, pointing to their guitar player. “It’ll be incredible. We’re just waiting for someone to shout the magic words. It’s been 18 shows with nothing so far, so we’re really hoping we get to do this before the US tour ends. I’ve always appreciated how respectful our fans are, but so help me God, if we have to lug these treadmills to Japan.”
Alex Cardenas, a long-time fan, seemed confused as to why he was hearing whispers about anyone screaming something as rude as “Free Bird” during the set.
“I’m not here to tell them what to play. I’m here to soak in all my favorite tunes as I sit back in respectful silence. And hey, if they don’t want to play a fast one that’s fine by me too,” said Cardenas with an earnest smile. “And if I’m being honest, I’m kind of excited to hear their new stuff as well. I understand the band might be tired of playing the same old songs us fans adore. And I bet they poured their souls into their upcoming album, so even if I don’t instantly love the songs, I sure am eager to give them a listen. I bet they’re beyond swell.”
Theatre manager Jamie Prince wasn’t surprised to hear the band grumbling about this overly courteous audience.
“I’ve never seen a group of fans this well-behaved, not even the Mountain Goats crowd. Last time the Goats played, a large group organized themselves into a cleanup brigade immediately after the show, scouring the seats for trash before they left. I think they found one tattered paperback,” said Prince. “And the Weakerthans’ crowd – they set up a makeshift backstage tutoring session for the band’s kids, complete with handmade flashcards. But this group was the best yet – after the show, they arranged a food drive in the lobby, eventually supplying the local food kitchen for a week. It was almost upsettingly heartwarming.”
At press time, the band’s frontman was seen desperately pleading with the silent house, “anyone heard any good ‘70s southern rock anthems recently?”