After a long day of dealing with some state licensure and fingerprinting issues (ahem) I am ready to go. It's Keri's birthday #23, so a group convenes on Church St at 4:30 for dinner. Very tasty, and we got to sing.
Early dinner gives a little down time for the show which I put to good use and head over to Higher Ground. Doors open and the crew makes it to the front. In the wait time, in the crowd I spy Kelley. I bet I haven't seen her at a show since 2007....and she is not around when i look for her post-show.
Opener Waylon Speed brings countrified rock tonight, with the exception of a pretty heavy closing song. Another product of Vermont!
It's sold out tonight, and they actually sold out the (as Grace called it) Hangover show on Saturday, so it's official..a sold out run of 4 shows. I think the 3 nights in '08 sold out, but i don't think all 4 sold out last year, so HEY!, congrats!
Tonight starts off, again, with Grace offstage and coming in after the band has several bars of Medicine under their belt. There is another rowdy group of young girls just off the rail. Thankfully, they are screaming in the ears of the those on The Dark Side, not mine. Screamers behind me might be the ultimate test for my new earplugs....
After Joey, Grace looks into the crowd and announces "You've got that troubled look in your eye...well, you came to the right place"
Goodbye Kiss: This is a subtle highlight, in the ending, Scott hit a sweet high harmony on the harp
Mastermind: Memorable, long intro that featured two green strobes on the back flor of the stage. Cat and Scott each framed by the strobes. Cat at one point raised her bass very high, vertically, never seen that. Matt strong.
That Phone: Grace goin' ZZ with some Cheap Sunglasses. Tossed post song into crowd.
Ain't No Time: Sweet Trio
Things I never Needed: Trio with Cat, bassless, singing harmony.
Only Love: Scott really bending some strings
Brilliance: No this is not a new song. It is what I experienced next. It is the kind of moment that I search for, and keeps me coming back. Tiny Lights was up next, and Scott was immense. His solo on the outro slowly morphed into Portishead's Glory Box. My eyes closed, I gripped the rail, I hung on as smiles and sweet grimaces passed across my face. I could feel the smiles, but at the same time felt tears behind my closed eyelids. As this song transitioned out, I opened my eyes and at that moment my face was turned to the left. First thing I saw was Ben laughing as he pointed a camera at me. Title of that picture if it ever surfaces? "Rapture". Telling Benny afterwards, he smiled, and with a knowing nod of the head said "you were in the Zone" The song transitioned into Heart of Glass at a slightly lower tempo, fittingly not so snappy, coming out of Glory Box. As Heart wound down, Grace engaged the crowd in a call and response of ooh ooh ooh ooh, turning the mic to the crowd for their response. And, oh so subtly, she morphed the call into "ooh ooh la la" as many recognized the call for the band to ease into "Paris". This was genius, pure and simple. The best and most creative little run of songs I can ever remember. In fact, I have never heard them pull four songs together before. It was Brilliance
Jolene: as the band came out for this song to kick off the encore, Cat said "It's a good GPN night when ya got piles of sequins and sweat on the floor" Grace talked of performing this song only once before in Nashville halloween. The first half was semi acoustic, and the second half was a little harder. Scott was on the B-3
Hot summer Night: at the end, Grace smiled, grabbed her cup of tea, and made a dramatic gesture of wiping her brow and downed her drink. She pulled the string out and Said "Anybody wanna get teabagged?" as she bounced it in front of her. "see, I told you if you're looking for trouble you're in the right place...."
And the night ended with the song that no-one has ever tired of hearing, NBTW. Scott starts a lick, Benny slams it out of the park. Repeat several times, Matt closed it out with a 30 beat.
Benny has a little surprise for us NYE.....
Scene in the crowd: Jackie, Dayna, Kelley, Kim, Elizabeth, Guava girls Abbey and Casey, John, Jan, Gary, MaltheGal, Jay, nancy, Tipi, Keri, wally, Cathy, eric, Trish, Heath, and Stan from Ohio, fresh off parole.
Ain't No time trio
Things I never needed trio, Cat
One short Night
Heart of Glass>
Hot Summer Night