In our communities and circles, we often find ourselves gifted with evenings of music. Gatherings in the form of a celebration. A celebration of music you and your peers love and musicians celebrating the same love for the music in their performance. So often we enjoy ourselves with friends and beer at concerts. During my upbringing, right to the start of my high school years, I’ve been gifted with a local indie band called Fields of Green. On a whim, a friend of mine invited me, along with some others to a show at our local theater to mark the release of their album Blanktown and their inaugural performance as a band. I seldom look back on this as a night that changed my life, but it forever did.
For a multitude of reasons, this band was integral to my adolescence. They changed my perspective on indie rock, having never been properly acquainted with the genre. They changed my perspective on the concept of a concert and they have given me insight on what it is to be an artist that will inform my perspective on the work a band does forever. In the highest capacity, FOG has been there for me as a band for the better.
At that first show, I was awed by a band who performed their first album front to back. Hooks and transitions delivered with an energy I never thought this “soft” music could have. I was a young metalhead. No indie rock would sway me. But after only three or four songs, I found myself at the foot of the stage among friends and family of the band, jamming out. Somewhere between this unbridled energy and flawless execution of the music on Blanktown, was reckless abandon. Infectious energy and smiles poured through the songs. Between each transition and release was a group of musicians in their prime and branding their vision of music. It was an amazing time spent with friends, and it would dawn on me that this band was a big deal as soon as that night. I had purchased a CD and looked forward to catching them play in my own backyard again.
This came sooner than I had expected. In fact, throughout the next few years, I caught shows by Fields of Green over 20 times. In almost every venue in my town and then some. We were on a first name basis. Such a privilege it was to be along for the ride. Over the years I had seen Fields of Green with all of my friends. My youth and late teens sprinkled and bookended with concerts just to see them. They sounded nothing like my usual fare of metal. It was never my usual crowd at hardcore shows. Just me and some people I loved. Each time I saw them was as infectious and whimsical as the first. A group of stand up dudes playing some great songs. It was always difficult to pick one song over another. But eventually, lives changed and the band was no more.
Recently I learned of the frontman and brainchild of the band’s passing. His name was Kyle Tubbs. One thing was always clear to me, it was never a one-man show. Fields of Green was an ensemble. But Kyle was a huge creative force. He was an incredible talent. After I heard him sing the first time, I could never shake it. I’ve always found myself humming his melodies to myself, missing his timbre after not listening to him for a while and reflecting often when he would just wail on the mic at shows. There won’t be more details in an effort to respect his family’s privacy. However, he will be sorely missed. His music will live on forever. His legacy and impact were unquestionable. I don’t think I’m ever going to stop humming the things he sang. I’m not ever going to be able to go to the community theater and look at the stage the same again. He is forever in my heart. The things a musician does on stage can be sacred and Kyle Tubbs was a champion for that.