Local Wire

The Senators Dream of the 'Wild Wide Open'

Local band The Senators playing to no one inside The Van Buren.
Local band The Senators playing to no one inside The Van Buren. The Senators/YouTube
Local band The Senators playing to no one inside The Van Buren. - THE SENATORS/YOUTUBE
Local band The Senators playing to no one inside The Van Buren.
The Senators/YouTube
The Senators are bringing us back inside The Van Buren this week with an intimate performance of their hit "Wild Wide Open."

It's part of their video series for those of us (by us, we mean everyone with two ears and a heart) who miss the emotion of a live performance. Phoenix New Times premiered the one-shot video of "Battle of Montezuma" last week.

The band went to The Van Buren's co-owner Charlie Levy of local promoter Stateside Presents to arrange the production. Jesse Teer and his bandmate Chuck Linton (banjo and keyboards) kept their distance as they played five songs (with several from their now-delayed new album) with Dario Miranda recording the performance and Danny Upshaw filming them onstage.

The lyrics of "Wide Wild Open," which first appeared on last year's Promised Land EP, seem especially poignant in the age of social distancing:

"No, the sky it ain’t a ceiling / There’s depth between those stars / So play your fiddle, man / That’s all we got"

The album version, which was recorded in New York's Catskill Mountains with producer Simone Felice of The Felice Brothers, hit over 1 million streams on Spotify. Teer calls it "a throwback track with an easy rock beat and some early '90s synth," but thinks the video version, which looks out into the emptiness of the dark venue, speaks to the listener differently.

"I think this stripped-back live version turned out a bit more reverent and fitting for this moment in which many of us are wrestling with isolation and hope at the same time," he says.

Please enjoy this video of "Wild Wide Open," and come back next week for another video by The Senators.

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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil