Music, etc.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Daniel Johnston at Warsaw- 5.15.07

Last night, standing up close to one of the best and most inspirational songwriters of all time, I realized that there was nothing to fear in life. If only for a brief moment, I felt a part of the collective unconscious; felt part of something larger than myself. Although he did not play any songs off of "Don't Be Scared," the same message rung through on each tune.

Daniel looked very good on stage. His medication, which makes him shake, also made him very personable and calm on stage. He told a few jokes (none of them anti-semitic) and even mentioned how he got into trouble for some comments he made recently. Also, he was very personal with the audience, expressing his worries on growing old and his wanting for a scientific agent to extend life. "I think this is the generation who wants to live forever," Daniel said; completely serious, completely hilarious.

Daniel painted beautiful songs of universal pain, but also universal happiness. He started the night with an acoustic guitar, by himself at first and then an old buddy (I don't remember the name). They played some classics, including "Do You Really Love Me?," "Silly Love," and the first track off of his first tape, "Grievances," which he has not played in quite some time. It was truely a special moment to be a part of.

After his friend played with him, a band came out and backed him up. He seemed really into the rock n' roll vibe and was obviously having a great time playing with a full band. The continued with more classics, "Walking the Cow," "Rock & Roll/EGA," and "Speeding Motorcycle." I was only really into the band for "Speeding Motorcycle," but for the most part, they acted like it was their concert instead of Daniel's, which was not cool.

There were times when you could tell he wanted them to stop playing, but they continued. The drummer was very good though and he seemed to really appericiate Daniel. After Daniel left, the drummer was off, meanwhile the rest of the band recieved the applause meant for Daniel. All in all though, Daniel really enjoyed playing with the band, so I can't get too angry at them.

After the band headed off, Daniel came back on stage for a beatiful rendition of "True Love Will Find You in the End." It was a really special moment and brought tears to my eyes. Immediatly after his second encore of "Devil Town (sing-a-long)," he went to the Warsaw food section and got himelf a plate. A crowd of people stood and stared at him while he was seemingly unaware that his prescence made any difference. My friend was able to tell him what a great show it was and even managed to get a hand shake.

I have no idea what he has planned for tonight, but after the energy and prescence he had last night, it should be an amazing show. I'm also expecting to see come celebrities, being part of the Highline Festival and all. I'll post the review for that one tommorow.

Grievances (From "Songs of Pain")


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