Music, etc.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Concerts Special

Okkervil River...7-13-06...Castle Clinton

It was exactly a week ago when I attended this free show. I had been long anticipating watching these guys from Texas play their tunes. Black Sheep Boy was one of my favorite albums last year and it only helped that the show was free. Overall, the show was worth the 20$ train ticket to the city.

I arrived at Battery Park at 4 o'cock; exactly one hour before tickets were going to be given out. I was waiting on line for an hour,but it seemed to go by quick with all of the interesting people around. One heavy-set lady was playing the electric harp, and I got a kick out of that. Also, the older man standing next to me happened to be the father of lead singer/song-writer Will Sheff. It was interesting to hear that a man whose son is an extremely talented musician had disdain for musicians back when he was in high school. The entire Sheff family was standing behind him, (Will Sheff's sister is incredibly hott!) which was pretty cool.

The show started off with a few gems off of Black Sheep Boy. The crowd was not too into it at first. Everyone who had waited hours to get actual seats did not get up. That would be alright if we had gone to see a movie, but we were there to watch a frickin rock show. Eventually they all got up, allowing me to move closer to the band. I never realized how good the song 'Stone' was until I heard it live. Sheff sings with just the right amount of flare and emotion.

"Will Sheff, you have a beautiful voice!" a man from the back of the venue screams.

"You too, sir. I can hear it all the way up here." Sheff returns the compliment.

For not having played together in months, the guys really seemed tight. Will Sheff is also very good doing solo material. He introduced two new songs, 'Life is not a movie or maybe' and 'The presidents dead', the latter was one of my favorites of the night. Having really wanted to hear Westfall live, I was extremely excited when they started plating the opening chords. These guys are playing the city again in October and I do not plan to miss it.

Two Favorites from the show...(from Ryspace)

The Presedents Dead

The Latest Toughs

Paul Simon...7-16-06...PNC Bank Arts Center

When I purchased my tickets for Paul Simon, nothing could describe how I was feeling. If there is one musical artist who I could considered obsessed with, it is Paul Simon. The man is a god, he is my god. Every thing he has ever written is just fantastic. That is saying something for such a prolific artist.

My weekend had not been going too well, considering I had to go on a camping retreat with people from school. I'm not saying it wasn't a good time, but it was a little much. But it was sunday night, nothing was going to stop my from enjoying my idol, not even my crappy lawn seats (I have to buy closer seats next time he comes around). The benefit of the lawn seats, though, was that it is easy to smoke a little while enjoying the concert.

Suprisingly, Paul opened the show with Gumboots, off of Graceland. Graceland seemed to be the theme of the evening, a lot of the songs from the night came from it. As an S&G super-fan, I am upset to say that I am not a big fan of 'Mrs. Robinson.' I guess because it is over-played. During the show, however, I couldn't get enough. Paul changed it considerably, adding many instrumental solos as well as making the song slower. That was the highlight of the night for me.

Althogh he didn't play some of my favorite songs that I was dying to hear live (American Tune, I know what I know) he did manage to mix in sme lesser known favorites like Duncan and You're the One. Also, since this is the Suprise tour, he played a lot of Suprise. I had no problem with that because it is a really great album.

After the show, I had a real sense of what Heaven was really like.

Graceland (covered by Islands)

American Tune


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