Quick review...There were 5 bands at this 91.9 listenner appreciation concert. Paula Cole was 1st and played 45 minutes. The highlight being the final song a cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene". It was sang well enough but the band kind of plodded through it. It was ended by Cole beatboxing. Yes, beatboxing. She killed what had been a fairly good vocal performance of the song. I thought she should have saved her beatboxing skills for one of her own tunes not a greatsong like "Jolene". But hey, what do I know? The crowd seemed to dig it.
Charlie Louvin was next and he was great. Backed by a 4 piece band that had a good guitarist and a dobro player. "2 dollar bill" and "The Christian Life" were among the songs played. He told some jokes and stories. I'll def be seeing him at Bonaroo (of all places).
Suzanne Vega did a set next. It was good. She had great band backing her...the only weak link (IMO) was the bass player. She played mostly new material but included a cuple of hits. i.e. "Luca"
After a quick break Vietnam played. It was the 1st actual rock n' roll I heard all evening so I was kind of happy w/ the change of pace. I had listened to their album and thought it was so-so. They rocked live though and it restimulated my interest in them. They had the rock n' roll look thing down pat. Hairy, bearded, disheveled looking. The bassist doing this cool toe tapping thing as they raged through songs. They do have alot of structure and verses/lyrics in their music that fits well w/ the sonic heaviness. It's kind of got this wierd heavy Dylan thing going. It's hard to describe.
After all that it was time for Ryan and The Cardinals. They did the whole semi-acoustic setup w/ everyone seated sort of facing each other. The lights were super low in blue and red.
I Taught Myself How to Grow Old
Tears of Gold
Oh My God Whatever Etc.
Down In a Hole
The entire "set' was apx 30 minutes. Pretty short but the music was excellent. The piano player really added alot to the new tunes. Neal Casal and Jon Graboff did a outstanding job handling the guitar duties. Graboff's steel really complimented the mood and feeling of the new tunes.
I couldn't really pick a favorite of the new tunes they were all pretty good. Tears of Gold sticks out though...It could have been the excellent steel that Graboff played though.
It's probably worth noting that Ryan's hand/wrist was in some sort of cast so he didn't play guitar. He wore sunglasses, a shower cap, and a hoodie. There was no banter and he didn't look at or acknowledge the crowd until a brief "thank you etc" at the end. He had quite a few fans there as they all cramed up to the stage when he played. The venue is even smaller than The Palace around the corner so I didn't really see the point of that but hey, kids these days. They were sweating Ryan hard.
After only about 20 minutes or so Neal teased "Easy Plateau" and the band seemed ready to play it. Instead, Ryan 86'd that idea and they played "Down In A Hole". It was pretty melodramatic. It sort of fit the whole mood that Ryan had set and was played well but it was clearly the last tune.
On the way out I overheard some people bitching about the shortness of it all and/or the lack of recognizable tunes but I was pretty satisfied and got about what I expected after keeping up w/ what they had been doing the past week or so. Musically I thought they were great. I like the new material and really dig the whole semi-acoustic thing. Maybe the keys will be carried over to the regular electric format. We shall see. All things considered a great Saturday night in Louisville.
Nice review Lombardi!
I've been meaning to check out Vietnam. . .
It should also be noted that The Brown Theatre is a nice little venue. Smaller than The Palace around the corner. (which is small) It's kind of got this 30's/40's classic small theatre look. I thought it sounded best up in the balcony, which was def the best visual perspective.
Man, I absolutely love the Vietnam album, really hope to get a chance to see them live ASAP
Speaking of Vietnam...during one tune the singer/guitarist went on this rant about "rubbing your cock so you feel alive". It was pretty funny. In a cool rock n' roll sort of way.
Anyway, the crowd was kind of a mixed bag and there seemed to be quite a few older "normal" folks there. That little incident sent a few people heading for the door. Ah, the power of balls out rock n' roll.
>>>That little incident sent a few people heading for the door.
Brings to mind the old saying, "if the singer ranting about rubbing his cock makes you head for the door, you're too old"
lol. No doubt. It was pretty crazy... the Vietnam fella's came out and the guitarist went on to say they got there from NYC at 6am, soundchecked at 9 haven't slept etc...Then proceded to rock the fuck out.
The RA fans (and everybody for that matter) were all seated patiently waiting for Ryan. When they finished all the Ryan fans jockeyed for postion against the stage.
Here's a link to a torrent of 5/16/07. It's a sbd and has a lot of new songs if you want to hear them.
I wish some of these recent shows would show up on the archive...that includes the town hall sbds (if they exist)