David Grisman & John Sebastian
Kanbar Hall, JCCSF
November 15, 2008
The short version: Great conversation between two old friends in an intimate theater that left the audience in completely silent awe!
First the venue, this was my first time there, and I'll definitely be back (Arlo in April!). It was a nice intimate theater, an expensive ticket at $48 but definitely worth it. Probably about 500 seats, maybe half the size of the Palace of Fine Arts. The sound was great, every nuance of the acoustic instruments was heard loud and clear.
This tour is in support of the new album that Grisman and Sebastian recorded together recently (Satisfied) so the material was a mix of greatest hits and new stuff from the album. They played two sets, about 45 minutes each with a short intermission. There was some playful banter between songs, lots of age jokes...they dated themselves saying they first met in the fall of 1962. Sebastian had some funny stories, while Grisman dropped names all night--read like the first chapter of Dylan's Chronicals--Dave Van Ronk and the Gaslight Cafe, Mississippi John Hurt--just as dry as Dylan's book too. Sebastian got a good laugh telling the story of how he inadvertently introduced his date Maria D'Amato, to her future husband, Geoff Muldar. Cute story followed by the song it inspired, Passing Fantasy. Grisman had dedications for many of the songs, much of his family was in the crowd (right in front of me) along with the italian fellow who made his mandolin. That only added to the intimate feel of this hometown show.
Just Don't Stop Till You're All Worn Out
Strings of Your Heart
Jug Band Music
Banjo King Rag (aka Mandolin King Rag with both on Banjo)
Walk Right Back (maybe?)
Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?
Tap That Thing
Summer in the City
As expected, Sebastian's voice was strained and thin at times. A lot of the old notes just aren't in his range anymore but his goofy smile made up for it. His picking and his harmonica playing haven't suffered though. His harmonica was my favorite part of the evening. Grisman was at the top of his game all night. He performed with the mastery and artistry that is expected. Can't recall any of Grisman's playing being any other way. The Spoonful tunes were the rockers of the evening with a lot of the new stuff tending towards soft, gentle lullabies or the jazz grass style of Dawg music. The crowd loved it all though, enjoying the quiet intimacy of the evening, these guys got huge ovations at the end of the night, HUGE! A true outpouring of love. Definitely a night worth my time and money.
Thanks Emily for taking the time to wonderfully put into words what you experienced. I always enjoy reading your reviews.
See you soon.'
soudns like a nice time.
and a refreshing performance away from the "experience".
thanks for the review!
as always it was nice to live vicariously through you Emily.
any review of the Keller show coming? Was bummed to miss that show on a sunday.
Keller was okay, not excellent but good enough for a sunday show. Not real crowded, they actually had tables and chairs on the floor, haven't seen that in forever. Played a lot of the usuals...Best Feeling, Breathe, Moving Sidewalk, Apparition, Cadillac, Ninja of Love. They did Sometimes a River with Mosley on vocals, not a good idea, drained a lot of energy from the room. They ended with a great combo-- Freeker>Eyes of the World to end the set and then encored with Once in a Lifetime...that was fun.
But overall, I thought both the Yarmony set from this summer and the North West String Summit sets were better. A Sunday show to a half capacity crowd after a full weekend...didn't really surprise me.
Grismen !!!what a treasure!
Thanks for that Emily.
Sounds like I didn't miss too much.
Chairs/tables on the floor eh?
Hope that's not the case tonight!!
Tables and Chairs along the side of the room--the carpet, not the dance floor. When they expect shows to be less than crowded.
I'm surprised tonight's show isn't sold out, I've been shut out of more MMW shows than I care to count...I'm looking forward to being able to get a ticket tonight There's a pic in my profile, say high if you see me
will say hi if i see you.
we've met a couple times here and there. you're friends with my buddy Bates.
just hadn't quite put the ZONE connection together until recently.
Right on! I barely recognize him these days, the 'fro throws me off. The first couple times it was funny, after the third time he had to tell me who he was I felt bad.