Saturday, May 5, 2007

Patty Griffin concert report

I saw Patty Griffin at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Massachusetts on April 21, 2007.

The opening act was perfect. Her drummer performed with his 2-person band Terremoto featuring rhythms from Brazil, Cuba, and Peru. I had driven out from the city on a Saturday afternoon after a Friday night party at my apartment. I was able to sit back, relax, and snooze a bit in semi-conscious bliss before the start of headliner. Perfect.

Patty came out by herself and started on the piano. Eventually she was joined by her five person tour band for several songs. Then the band drifted away and left her alone on stage with her guitar. The band was back for the finish and encore. Patty’s latest album “Children Running Through” has disappointed some, and her voice seems to lack the power it once had, but the depth is still there. Her voice is developing a gravelly quality with a sultriness she didn’t use to have. Patty seems more respectful of conserving range in her newer songs, and saves the power for some of the older songs. It was a wonderful show.

Production notes: There were some sound problems. The occasional feedback came out a jarring staccato that might have sent a war veteran into post traumatic stress syndrome. I am trying to determine if the music from “Chldren Running Thriugh” is featured in the new musical “10 Millsion Miles” that will be playing at the Atlantic Theatre on East 20th street in New York City.

Set list (per Patty Griffin message board):

J'irai La Vour un Jour
Another Fool
Stay On The Ride
Useless Desires
Burgundy Shoes
Forgiveness (!)
Cold As It Gets (!)
Be Careful With Me
When It Don't Come Easy
No Bad News
Love Throw A Line
Heavenly Day
I Don't Ever Give Up
Up To The Mountain (MLK)
Truth #2

Wishing Well
Getting Ready

We had to go to the judges on this:

It’s not stalking if you buy a single ticket to a show because by the time you got around to going online there were no good seats left for pairs. It’s not stalking if you drive all the way from Cambridge out to Northampton by yourself because you only have one ticket.

It’s not stalking if you check into the Hotel Northampton right across the street from the Calvin Theatre because you don’t want to drive back to the city after the show and that seems most convenient.

It’s not stalking if the hotel gives you a room with a balcony overlooking both the theatre marquis and the artist’s tour bus parked along side it because the hotel told you all they had left were rooms with balconies.

It’s not stalking if you bring your binoculars to the show because lots of people use binoculars or opera glasses at concerts.

It’s not stalking if you pinch a concert poster from a newspaper kiosk after the show because that’s just a dated ad that will get replaced for the next show.

It's not stalking when you go out on your balcony after the show with the corona, limes, smoked salmon, cheese spread, and crackers you packed out from the city for a late dinner.

It’s not stalking when you are still out on your balcony at midnight when one of the guys with the band walks the artist from her tour bus over to your hotel.

It is stalking when one of the lesbian couples on the balcony leans over and shouts. “Hey, Patty, great show. Don’t get hit by a car crossing the street.”