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first, this was the best concert i’ve been to in recent memory — and even the lady sparkler had to admit that it was just a great show, top to bottom. she covered all the classics, and did a solo, electric-guitar version of “Nothing But The Water” that was incredible.
second, the lady sparkler’s admission above is especially amazing considering how hard I had to fight to go. i bought tickets, but she didn’t really want to go. she scheduled two trips over the night of the concert, both of which I had to fight off like a ninja. and, then, had to physically drag her to the actual concert.
finally, while grace potter was an outstanding show — including a cover of “Paint It Black” that was good enough that the Stones should have paid her a royalty for the privilege — the opening act (Trombone Shorty) was the single best opening act (that term seems so shallow) I’ve ever seen.
good night, all the way around.
SET LIST: Medicine · Never Go Back · Toothbrush and My Table · Apologies · Timekeeper · Ah Mary · Roulette · Treat Me Right · Stop the Bus · Devil’s Train · Big White Gate · The Divide · White Rabbit · Turntable · Paris (Ooh La La) · Nothing but the Water (I) · Nothing but the Water (II) · Stars · Paint It Black · The Lion The Beast The Beat
this is one of those times where there just aren’t enough words in the english language.
second, this is the first concert that i’ve gotten rained on while *in* the building. during the warm up act, a hole opened up in the ceiling directly in front of us and gushed water for 30 seconds.
thankfully, it coincided with two 6+ feet tall men trying to sit down in those seats and block our view. for some reason, they decided to sit down in another part of the room and the puddle warned people off for the rest of the night.
we thought he was great when we saw him (and his mom) six years ago in berkeley springs, but this time he seemed maybe two rungs above his usual self.
when mcmurtry plays a six-string guitar, it sounds like it has 12. when he plays a 12-string guitar, it sounds like it has 50. his ability to rip the lid off songs — while playing solo, on acoustic guitar — is just crazy.
that, and for once the lady sparkler didn’t have to wait the whole concert to see if she’d hear her favorite song — he played rachel’s song right off the bat.
and all was right with the world.
SET LIST: Melinda · Saint Mary of the Woods · Rachel’s Song · Down Across the Delaware · See The Elephant · Hurricane Party · Leonard Cohen Must Die · Choctaw Bingo · Out Here in the Middle · Restless · Safe Side · Ruby and Carlos · Levelland · Peter Pan · No More Buffalo
invariably, they look like its either the first time they’ve ever picked up a guitar, or that they started playing about two weeks before their tour started and have pretty much mastered the three chords required to play their “best” song.
no worries for sarah harmer — she ripped the lid of the birchmere tonight, and looked ridiculously comfortable doing it.
there wasn’t a bad song from the bunch, with “careless”, “basement apartment“, and finale “lodestar” standing among the best live songs i’ve ever seen.
this live music thing seems like a good hobby to get into.
SET LIST: Late Bloomer · Around This Corner · One Match · Careless · Pendulums · Captive · The Thief · Marble in Your Eye · Coffee Stain · Dandelions in Bullet Holes · Silver Road · The Ring · Basement Apartment · New Loneliness · Escarpment Blues · Washington · The City · Came On Lion · Uniform Gray · Loadstar
the traffic is awful, it’s a long way away, and if you don’t get there like an hour and a half before the show starts you are virtually guaranteed to be sitting at the back of the venue behind a post.
today, for some crazy reason, we got there barely 45 minutes before the show, and the parking lot was so abandoned that we thought the show was canceled.
we sailed through the lobby unmolested — except for the bouncer asking if he could check my “purse” — and sat down about 8 feet off the front of the stage.
a couple months ago, around the time we were buying tickets to the show, we tripped across a tift merritt album we didn’t own (“another country”) and downloaded it from itunes. we figured we’d be okay at the concert anyway, since we knew her first two albums.
turns out we were actually TWO albums behind, so knew just three of the 18 songs.
we *still* did okay, which probably says something about tift and her band … i’m not sure i’ve ever been to a concert where i knew so few of the songs, yet still had such a great time.
the show was actually stolen by her husband (the drummer) of all people, who during the encore did a solo / ukulele number called “Evel Knievel for My Girl”, which really has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
SET LIST: The Things That Everybody Does · All The Reasons We Don’t Have To Fight · Engine To Turn · Six More Days Of Rain · Mixtape · I Know What I’m Looking For Now · After Today · Something To Me · Never Talk About It · Stray Paper · Papercut · Broken · Feel Of The World · See You On The Moon · Ain’t Looking Closely · Evel Knievel · Bramble Rose · Danny’s Song · Another Country