Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kathleen Edwards, My Morning Jacket (10.10.05)

the Band: Kathleen Edwards, My Morning Jacket
the Date: Monday October 10, 2005
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to John and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/bookrep/)

Kathleen Edwards was great. A little bit of a Southern twang to her … even though I think she’s Canadian. Great start of the night!

The band I really wanted to see was My Morning Jacket. I caught their act down in Houston about a year ago and they blew my socks off. Now, they were here in my neck of the woods at the 9:30 Club and couldn’t be happier.

My Morning Jacket is a Southern rock band out of Kentucky and comprises of Jim James (vocals/guitar), Tom (a.k.a. Two-Tone Tommy) Blankenship (bass), Patrick Hallahan (drums), Carl Broemel (guitar), and Bo Koster (keyboard). My Morning Jacket is truly a powerful band. The combination of Jim James’ howls, big guitars, and the band’s luscious locks provided an amazing demonstration of Southern Rock and Roll!

They were touring in support of their latest album, Z, so the setlist heavily favored those tracks, but they were sure to include some tunes from their previous work as well. My favorite songs of the evening were Wordless Chorus (with which they opened), Gideon, Golden, One Big Holiday (absolutely MUST be heard live and might be my favorite MMJ tune), Run Thru (with which they closed the show, before the encore), Mahgeeta, and Anytime (with which they closed the encore).

Thankfully, NPR recorded the entire show and saved it here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4934012

Full setlist for Kathleen Edwards: Independent Thief / Six O’Clock news / What Are You Waiting For / Good Things / In State / Copied Keys /12 Bellvue / Back to Me

Full setlist for My Morning Jacket: Wordless Chorus / It Beats for You / Gideon / One Big Holiday / The Way that He Sings / Golden (with Kathleen Edwards) / Sooner / What a Wonderful Man / Off the Record / Lay Low / Don Dante / Run Thru / ENCORE / At Dawn / I Think I’m Going to Hell / Northern Sky / Mahgeeta / Anytime

cause anytime’s a good time to move on ...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Leona Naess, Nickel Creek (10.09.05)

the Band: Leona Naess, Nickel Creek
the Date: Sunday October 9, 2005
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to Bret Salmons and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/projectbs/)

Leona Naess opened, but I missed her set. Oops.

Nickel Creek was the headliner. They are a young, twenty-something bluegrass trio consisting of Chris Thile (vocals, mandolin), Sara Watkins (vocals, fiddle), and her brother Sean Watkins (vocals, guitar). I was turned on to these guys a few years ago and this was my first chance to see them live. I couldn’t wait.

They were on tour in support of their latest album, Why Should the Fire Die? Though the setlist focused on that album, fan-favorites from their previous two albums, Nickel Creek and This Side, were included in the mix. They even played a few covers including Radiohead’s Nice Dream and even Britney Spears’ Toxic. Strange but true. The whole show was full of great songs and lots of energy. They were just amazing! And, by the end of the night, I had totally developed a crush on Sara.

My favorite songs of the evening were When You Come Back Down (which might be my favorite Nickel Creek tune), Helena, Best of Luck (where Sara sang absolutely beautifully), Somebody More Like You, Scotch & Chocolate, and an amazing medley of Up on Cripple Creek and the Fox (played during the encore).

Full setlist (not for this show, but for a show around this time … sorry, best I can do): When in Rome / Reasons Why / Smoothie Song / Jealous of the Moon / Best of Luck / Somebody More Like You / In the House of Tom Bombadil / When You Come Back Down / Nice Dream (Radiohead cover) / First and Last Waltz / Helena / Anthony / This Side / Toxic (Britney Spears cover) / Stumptown / Out of the Woods / The Lighthouse’s Tale / Scotch & Chocolate / ENCORE / Up On Cripple Creek > The Fox > Up On Cripple Creek / Why Should the Fire Die?

I’ll keep lookin’ up, awaitin’ your return
My greatest fear will be that you will crash and burn ...

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Pixies (09.30.05)

the Band: Pixies
the Date: Friday September 30, 2005
the Venue: Sonar (Baltimore, MD)

(Photo credit to Frankie Two Thumbs and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/fhamilton/)

This was the fourth show of the greatest week of Rock n’ Roll of my life. Too bad my buddy, Joe, had already gone back to Indiana. As for me, it was a Friday night in a small club with my favorite band in the entire world, Pixies, and it was AMAZING!

The band consists of Frank Black (a.k.a. Black Francis, a.k.a. Charles Thompson; vocals/guitar), Kim Deal (a.k.a. Mrs. John Murphy; vocals/bass), Joey Santiago (guitar), and David Lovering (drums). I have been a HUGE fan for years. I distinctly remember when I was in high school, being first exposed to the Pixies via MTV’s 120 Minutes … I knew immediately that this was the kind of music I wanted to hear for the rest of my life. My adoration has grown stronger over the years, even during their nearly 12 year hiatus. I’m just glad they reunited and are touring the hell out of the world. I’ve seen them three times in the past year and now in Baltimore, I had yet another date with the Pixies.

Thankfully, I was able to score a ticket from a kind soul on Craigslist … she even sold it to me for face value! I got to the club as early as I could. I went right to the middle section toward the front. There was only one person in front of me! I’ve never been this close to any band before and here I was, so close to my favorite band, Pixies. This show was more intimate than I could have ever dreamed. It was a small club, a stripped down set, none of their lights or anything. Just the basic setup … nothing to distract from the pure sound and fury of the Pixies.

(Photo credit to Frankie Two Thumbs and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/fhamilton/)

They started slowly with In Heaven and Wave of Mutilation. Then they tore into Ed is Dead and never looked back. They ferociously moved from song to song. It was a blistering and energetic performance. My favorites were Where Is My Mind?, Nimrod’s Son, Vamos, Gouge Away, Isla De Encanta, U-Mass, Caribou, Planet of Sound, Subbacultcha, Debaser, Gigantic, and Into the White (with which they closed the night as the solitary encore tune). After the show, I drove back home to DC grinning all the way knowing that this was the best show I have or will ever see in my life … Goodnight, Kim. Goodnight, Charles. Goodnight, Joey. Goodnight, Dave. Goodnight, Everyone!

Full setlist: In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song) / Wave of Mutilation / Ed Is Dead / Cactus / Where Is My Mind? / Holiday Song / Nimrod’s Son / Winterlong / Is She Weird? / Mr. Grieves / Crackity Jones / Something Against You / Dead / Bone Machine / Vamos / Gouge Away / Broken Face / Isla De Encanta / U-Mass / Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) / River Euphrates / Caribou / Planet of Sound / Monkey Gone to Heaven / Subbacultcha / Tame / Hey / Debaser / Gigantic / ENCORE / Into the White

Did you hear what I said? ...