Everyone has an artist -- painter, sculptor, writer, musician, etc. -- who's impacted them on more than just an aesthetic level. An artist who tells your story better than you ever could. Marques was, and is, like that for me.
I had the chance to talk to him maybe only a handful of times, and he wouldn't have been able to recognize me from a bike rack or a bubbler. But it felt like he knew me. More importantly, it felt like he helped me learn about myself, and life, more clearly.
It's not hyperbole to call him a genius. Nor is it hyperbole to say that he and the Evil Twins' never getting the opportunity to, well, become famous rock stars was an injustice. The world at large would have benefited from hearing his music and watching a kick-ass band perform. It will always annoy me that it didn't happen.
When I'm asked, "What's the best concert you ever saw?," my answer will start with obvious, big-name performers -- The Police, Paul McCartney, R.E.M., U2, Pink Floyd, INXS -- before I dust off my alternative bona fides and mention Squeeze, The Smithereens, Jellyfish, or The Church.
But I'll always end with Marques Bovre & The Evil Twins. Like that slushy Saturday night in January when they absolutely packed The Crystal Corner Bar. Or that warm Friday night in June when they absolutely packed the Union Terrace. Or when they crushed their gigs at Summerfest, steadily drawing more and more people who came as curious onlookers and left as fans. There were countless shows like that.
Still, the gigs were only part of it. Marques' catalog of songs includes far too much genius to quantify. But it's worth a try. Here's a place to start.
It's still tough to believe he's physically left us, and weird to realize I'm older now than he was when he went to the next realm. But, in a way, he'll always be here.