School of Seven Bells headlined the last CMJ shows at Santos Party House Saturday night, but this wasn’t the average gig for the typically atmospheric band. There were two surprises for audiences lucky enough to make it past three lines at the Windish Agency showcase.

When guitarist Benjamin Curtis said the band was going to take a little break for an announcement, the audience was still for a moment. The School of Seven Bells had only made it through a few songs and they were already missing a band member.

Drummer Zachary Saginaw walked to the microphone and called his girlfriend to the stage, followed by whistles and cheers. After a few minutes of waiting, the audience started chanting her name, “Marie, Marie, Marie!” Curtis said, “Thank you for being patient.  This is real life,” while smiling and encouraging the audience participation.

After Marie arrived, Curtis proposed on bended knee and the audience erupted in cheers as she said, “Oui!”

The show went on with songs from the band’s first album and the recently released, “Disconnect from Desire.” Some of the audience members were surprised that the usual threesome was missing one of the identical twins who creates its trademark harmonies, Claudia Deheza. This was the band’s first show back on their home turf since she quit earlier this month. Phrases like “Where’s the other twin?” and “We got gypped!” were floating through the audience in between songs.

It didn’t seem to diminish the energy in the medium-sized Santos Party House that was packed to the rafters, upstairs and downstairs, for the Windish Agency’s massive showcase on both levels.  For those who made it inside, there wasn’t much room, even for complaints.