Friday, September 21, 2012

Patrick Wolf at Joe's Pub, 09/21/12

Patrick Wolf's second evening at Joe's Pub was filled with the same heart and care as the night before. There was even the addition of video footage being projected onto the back wall while he played. A lot of the video was from scattered home movies his parents took of him as a child and unused footage from the never released Armistice video. My favorite snippet was of a 6-year-old Patrick locked up in stocks, apparently his folks thought that random act of child torture was hilarious (I have to agree).

There were many moments where I found myself holding my breath. When the familiar chords of "Pumpkin Soup" began to play (on the eve of the Autumnal Equinox) I literally sucked in a sharp gasp of recognition, and froze on the spot... a tear glistening in my eye. I was so frozen, that when Patrick stopped, and begged for lyrics, I couldn't say a word. Words escaped me. ME. I can't believe it still. It's one of my all time favorite B-Sides... It reminds me of my childhood near the waters of Long Island, it always struck such a familiar nostalgic chord within me... and I couldn't speak! One fellow concert goer- Christopher- who apparently put in the request shouted out "It's fine! Make a mess of it!" to gleeful laughter. An apologetic Patrick responded simply saying "I really should've learned the lyrics again!". 

The only downside to the show, was the hilariously sarcastic but certainly disenchanted "meltdown" Patrick had in response to Joe's Pub telling him his time was almost up. He revealed to us that he will never play Joe's Pub again- that they mistreated him and his crew, and found it ludicrous that we paid for tickets, and then had to buy food and drink once inside. Evidently there was little courtesy and monumental amounts of greed. He then grabbed at his set list, and very dramatically yet with a lot of humorous playfulness crumbled it up into a ball and threw it on the floor! We all laughed and cheered with him- as he apologized to the people whose requests would sadly not be honored. He then said "Let's end this on a POSITIVE note!" with a dedication to Connie & Adam whose anniversary was that night! A very upbeat rendition of "The Magic Position" was then performed, with all of us at Patrick's demand to get up and out of the ridiculously cramped and packed in chairs. We laughed, clapped to the tell tale beat, and hooted gleefully along. It was certainly the best way to turn a jaded frown on its head.

Here is the Setlist:
Hard Times
The Libertine
Shadow Sea
Pumpkin Soup
The Magic Position

Patrick Wolf at Joe's Pub, 09/20/12

I felt the triumph of his voice bouncing off the tables, ringing through the serpentine narrowed path of the cramped cabaret of Joe's Pub. Waitresses and bus boys pushing food and drink as Patrick Wolf sang. He sang with gusto, with passion, he sang through his teeth his mouth bent into a wickedly curved grin, he sang from somewhere deep within himself and brought the house down to its knees.

When he was not singing, he was strumming at his uke, the harp, poising before the piano, or plucking at the dulcimer. The strings with him tonight were an exceptional touch. The cellist Alyssa was particularly a stand out for me, her glowing smile reached me from the stage. There was a lot of excitement and passion from the crowd as well. Many minutes of joy, of somber recognition, and especially of solidarity. I always feel so welcome and connected at Patrick Wolf shows. Tonight was an exceptional evening of like minded souls converging to listen to the music of another like minded soul. I went alone, but left feeling like I knew everyone there.

Patrick as always was gracious and accommodating to his fans. He made a very lengthy appearance afterwards, signing autographs, taking pictures, making chitchat, and hugs- so many hugs. What's not to smile about? When ever Patrick Wolf is in town, this city gets cozier.

Here's the Set List-
Teignmouth, Bitten, Paris, Wind in the Wires, Hard Times 2012, Overture, London, Oblivion, The Libertine, The Sun is Often Out, Together, Penzance, Theseus, The City, The Magic Position.

Be sure to go check out the livestream performance of the show as well. I wonder if I will be able to hear myself cheering!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Confession

I have a confession to make. I've been attending concerts at least once a month since May and have not been writing about them. It wasn't that I had nothing to say about them. I had my ups and downs, celebrated victories and sang my disgruntled woes. I feared I was (and am) becoming repetitive. I used to love standing in the crowds, hoping to hear my favorite songs... Alas the older I get the harder it becomes to handle the crowds, the costs, and unfortunately my health limits my physical tolerance. I find myself asking questions I never asked myself before, "do I REALLY want to see this group?". It's strange. There was a time not too long ago where I would say "HELL YEAH!" to any concert, just for the experience! Now a days, between the number of responsibilities I have and the lack of financial resources, I turn down more shows than I go to. There is also a diminishing number of bands, musicians, and performers that I actually LIKE that I haven't already seen. That's not to say there aren't some cool things happening sonically out there... I just have found myself apathetic.

A musical depression is clearly upon me.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Florence + The Machine, Jones Beach

Not a Bad View for Last Minute Tickets!
A massive concrete shell sitting on the coasts of Zach's Bay, Long Island, Jones Beach Theater is one of the only stadiums in New York that I can even remotely begin to tolerate. You get sights, sounds, and smells that you don't normally get at a concert. The cool and refreshing autumnal bay breeze blowing around you, the sunset turning to dusk, dropping its spectral curtains to reveal the stars overhead, and the briny tang of salt air filling your nostrils are all welcome seaside comforts you get at Jones Beach Theater. As the lights dimmed and the sun began to set, Florence took to the stage in a beautiful ruffled gown favoring the shades of fall, with her signature shock of red hair flowing in the wind. The set list was predictable but reliably good. I am still disappointed at the live interpretation of "Heartlines", it does not have the same primal voracity performed live as it does on the album. Florence relies too much on audience participation, and sadly, New York concert goers have become too "cool" to lose their shit and scream "Hey Yeh Hey YEH!" to the beat of the music. Luckily, other classics like "Drumming Song" and the new performance of "Breath of Life" more than compensated for "Heartlines" lack of guttural aboriginal chants. Florence delivered an even performance, the timbre of her voice echoed enchantingly atop the sea breeze. "Breath of Life" was a haunting spectacle to behold, it left me with a chilled feeling that wasn't just the tide coming in. She is always worth the cost of the ticket...

Set List:
Only if for a Night 
What the Water Gave Me
Drumming song
Cosmic Love
Rabbit Heart
Leave My Body
Lover to Lover
Shake it Out
No light No Light
Dog Days are Over
Breath of Life

Also, Oddly enough, Patrick Wolf was there! We had a chance to chat. He had no business being anywhere in my vicinity, but, the Gods of Music felt frisky this night I guess. Yes my friend took guerrilla-style stalker pictures.