Richard Buckner @ the Columbia City Theater (5/24/18)

So this old guy came up to me in the pizza restaurant all nervous-like and said “Richard” with a question mark at the end.  Confused, I gave him my best “back-the-f-up” stare and continued walking to the cash register.  Then a few seconds later I figured it out.

I was wearing my top western wear shirt at the time.  You know, the cream-colored one with the blue flowered pattern on it and the purple glass buttons.  Pretty great shirt.  I also had my hair down and it was kind of all over the place.  This is apparently what that old guy thought Richard Buckner looked like.

So he was just a fan trying to approach a musician he liked, and I basically said something very rude to him with my eyes.  Sorry, old guy.

But anyway, the real Richard Buckner was great.  He played at least one song from each of his nine solo albums, placing special emphasis on Impasse, Meadow, and Surrounded.  It had been so long since I’d heard the Impasse songs that I actually marked three of them down in my setlist notes as being new.  Richard also told a long story about trying (and often failing) to track down information about the poet Kenneth Patchen in a small Ohio town.  It was one story that he broke up into a half dozen or so chapters and told in between the songs.  There were tiny cliff-hangers and everything.  I’d never heard him do anything like that at a concert before, but I liked it.

Here’s the setlist:

Main set: Lucky / Portrait / When You Tell Me How It Is / Lil Wallet Picture / Thief / Beautiful Question / Town / A Chance Counsel / Escape / Boys, the Night Will Bury You / The Tether and the Tie / Before / (A Year Ahead)…& a Light / Ariel Ramirez / Song of 27 / Gauzy Dress in the Sun / Surrounded / Loaded @ the Wrong Door / …& the Clouds’ve Lied / Once / Count Me in on This One! / Julia Miller / Blue and Wonder

Encore: Collusion / Ed’s Song

And here are a few pictures relating to the concert:

By the way, I saw the old guy from the pizza restaurant talking to the real Richard Buckner after the show.  I’m glad he still went, realized his mistake, and learned that the real Richard Buckner isn’t as big of a jerk as I am.

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Yo La Tengo @ the Neptune Theatre (5/31/18)

Beth and I headed off to the University District for the first of two nights of Yo La Tengo concerts at the Neptune Theatre.  We got in a traffic jam on the way, but still ended up arriving just as the doors opened.  We rushed upstairs and staked out the two best seats still available in the front row of the balcony.

I went to the merch table and bought us each a t-shirt designed by James McNew.  In doing so, I said something I never thought I’d say outloud.

I’d like an extra-large octopus and a large turtle.

I got a chuckle out of that.

We sat for about an hour and fifteen minutes until James, Georgia Hubley, and Ira Kaplan came on out.  They started in on “You Are Here,” the opener off their latest album, There’s a Riot Going On.  The first five minutes were nothing but jingle bells.  Then Georgia and James both started playing the drums.  Ira joined on guitar.  It went on a long time and was loud, trippy, and a lot of fun.  The same could be said for just about the entire show.  Especially the loud part.  I’d forgotten how loud Yo La Tengo can be having last seen them a couple years ago on their largely acoustic Stuff Like That There tour.

Here’s the setlist:

First set:  You Are Here / Forever / The Ballad of Red Buckets / Ashes* / She May, She Might / The Crying of Lot G / Black Flowers^ / Nowhere Near* / Here You Are

Second set:  (Out of the Pool) / Before We Run* / Moby Octopad / For You Too / Shades of Blue* / Autumn Sweater / The Story of Jazz / Nothing to Hide / Tom Courtenay / (I Heard You Looking)

Encore:  Accident^ (Electric Eels) / The River of Water / I Still Miss Someone* (Johnny Cash)

It was really a wonderful show.  Perhaps the best part is that we’ll get to do it all over again on Friday night.  I’ll bring earplugs for that one.

[NOTE: Songs marked with an asterick were sung by Georgia Hubley.  Songs marked with a little pointy thing were sung by James McNew.  I haven’t officially confirmed the two songs in parentheses.  Those are best guesses for now.]

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Buffalo Tom @ Neumos (3/1/18)

Less than twelve hours after seeing Buffalo Tom perform an in-studio session at KEXP, Beth and I went to see them put on a proper concert at Neumos.  The venue was crowded, but we still managed to get our spot against the wall over by the bar.  Back support and access to free water are even more important than sight-lines these days.

We only had to wait a few minutes until the show began.  Buffalo Tom played two sets with no opener.  The first set consisted of hits and songs from the band’s new album, Quiet and Peace.  That set looked like this:

Hits & New Songs: Sunflower Suit / Sodajerk / Roman Cars / Tree House / Summer / I’m Allowed / Rachael / All Be Gone / Birdbrain / Kitchen Door / Tangerine

“Roman Cars” and “All Be Gone” are both new songs; they’re also two of my favorite songs so far this year.  I especially like “Roman Cars” as it’s fun to sing along to the “lights have changed” bit.  As far as the rest of the set goes, it was pretty much one, non-stop highlight.   It was especially nice to hear three songs from Big Red Letter Day.  A lot of fans swear by Let Me Come Over, but I’ve always preferred the album that followed it.  I also enjoyed hearing “Kitchen Door” and “Tangerine” close out the set.  I like Sleepy Eyed a lot, too.

During the break between the sets, Beth and I went over and bought Quiet and Peace from the merch table.  We took turns going over so that one of us was always guarding our wall space.  Valuable real estate that.

The second set consisted of Buffalo Tom playing their album Let Me Come Over in its entirety.  It should be pretty obvious what they played, but here’s that setlist all written out anyway:

Let Me Come Over: Staples / Taillights Fade / Mountains of Your Head / Mineral / Darl / Larry / Velvet Roof / I’m Not There / Stymied / Porchlight / Frozen Lake / Saving Grace

They apparently played Let Me Come Over all the way through to celebrate the album’s 25th anniversary.  Although I like Buffalo Tom enough to fly 2,000 miles to see them play, I don’t like them so much as to have memorized the release dates of their individual albums.  Still, I’m fairly confident that 2018 is actually the 25th anniversary of Big Red Letter Day.  I’m not sure why they’re still doing Let Me Come Over celebration concerts.  Maybe they had too many posters of that man in the red chair left over from last year.  I don’t know.

Regardless, the Let Me Come Over set was something of a disappointment after all the hits and excellent new songs that opened the show.  Although there are a lot of great songs on the album–“Taillights Fade” and “Velvet Roof” immediately come to mind–there are also a few weak tracks, particularly on the b-side.  I found myself kind of tuning out once “Porchlight” had been played.  I started imagining the encores.  Unfortunately, the encores were also a bit disappointing.

Encore: Crutch / The Only Living Boy in New York (Simon & Garfunkel)

The band started off the encores with the extra track from the CD version of Let Me Come Over.  Then they wrapped up the concert with the cover of “The Only Living Boy in New York” that appears as the last song on Quiet and Peace.  Buffalo Tom did a great job with it, but I seriously doubt anyone in the audience was standing around hoping they’d end the  show with a Simon & Garfunkel cover…especially when the band was still sitting on great songs like “Late at Night” and “Postcard”.  Let’s face it, the only band who should end their concert with a Simon & Garfunkel song is Simon & Garfunkel.

But anyway, here’s a picture of all the Buffalo Tom-related stuff I had sitting around once we got home after the concert.  You know, new album, old album, setlist book, and ticket stub.

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Buffalo Tom @ KEXP Studios (3/1/18)

Beth and I got up, skipped our showers, skipped our breakfasts, and hustled down the hill while still wearing at least half of the clothes we’d slept in.  Maybe we changed our socks.  So why did two people who are usually hygienic and stuffed with pastries and egg sandwiches in the morning drop their usual routines and hustle down the hill in their pajamas?  Well, we needed to get to KEXP by 7:30 to get free tickets for Buffalo Tom’s 9:00 in-studio performance.

We got tickets #2 and #3.  Woo!

Beth is more hygienic than I am, so she went back home and took a shower once we’d secured the tickets.  I just loitered at KEXP and thought a lot about mocha muffins.

Beth got back down the hill with plenty of time and we were led into the secret studio viewing area at a little before 9:00.  We then spent the next 35 minutes watching Buffalo Tom play a five-song set and talk to a radio personality-type about their new album and upcoming tour.  The whole thing was a lot of fun and a great preview of coming attractions.  That tour I mentioned actually starts tonight at Neumos.  We’ve also got tickets for that.

Here’s what the band played for the radio session:

Buffalo Tom setlist: All Be Gone / Taillights Fade / Kitchen Door / I’m Allowed / Least That We Can Do

The first and last songs are from Quiet and Peace, the new Buffalo Tom album that officially comes out tomorrow.  I’m hoping they’ll have copies available for purchase tonight, though. 

Now for that shower.

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Shelley Short, Tomo Nakayama & Tom Brosseau @ the Fremont Abbey (2/23/18)

[NOTE: Now that I’ve caught up with all the forgotten concert write-ups, I can finally concentrate on the posts documenting the shows I see going forward.  This post right here is the first of those.  Like most of my recent concert posts, this one was largely based on an entry I wrote in my pen & paper journal.  No reason to write the same thing twice in completely different styles, right?  Let’s pick up this one mid-entry.]

Eventually it was time to get up and go see Shelley Short at the Fremont Abbey.  Before that, though, we needed some dinner.  We decided to go to Domani.  It was a good choice.  We split a salad, a margherita pizza, and a slice of chocolate cake.  It was all tasty and the smooth jazz wasn’t loud enough to be distracting.  And perhaps just as important, we only had a couple blocks to walk afterwards to get to the garage and Beth’s car.  The weather was kind of iffy.

We drove to Fremont, parked, and walked over to the Abbey.  We’d seen Luluc there a couple years ago, but this show took place in the larger space upstairs.  The cathedral space, I think they call it.  We got there early enough to get one of the four tables in the back.  I bought a cider and a ginger beer–because I think you should buy something if you take a table–and we waited for the show to begin.

Shelley Short was the first of three performers…and the one we were most familiar with, having seen her open for or perform with Darren Hanlon a few times.  She came out and played a ten song set, placing special emphasis on her latest record, Pacific City.  She actually played eight of the eleven songs from it.  Pacific City is one of my favorite albums from 2017, so it was nice to hear most of it live.  The two non-Pacific City songs were folk covers, one an old standard and the other a cover by a mysterious singer from the 50s named Connie Converse.  Here’s the setlist:

Shelley Short setlist: Muddy River / Hares on the Mountain (traditional) / Fearless / Simple As That / Wagoner’s Lad (a cappella) / Hills and Tracks / Death / Trouble (Connie Converse) / Fool Babe / (guy goes into the library and orders fish & chips joke) / September

Shelley Short was great.  This was the first time I’d seen her without Darren Hanlon on the bill, but I found that I didn’t miss him as much as I thought I might.  Shelley’s a fine solo performer; the only time I thought of Darren was during the song “Hills and Tracks”.  He contributed vocals to that song on Pacific City, so there was a bit of a hole there during the live performance.  No big deal, though.

The next performer was Tomo Nakayama.  I think I once saw his old band Grand Hallway at a Capitol Hill Block Party.  I don’t remember much about them, but I really enjoyed his solo show tonight.  He covered one of Townes Van Zandt’s best songs and then broke my heart a little bit by singing a song about his recently-deceased cat, Gilda.  He claimed to have written the entire song during Shelley Short’s set.  Here’s what Tomo played:

Tomo Nakayama setlist: Bright and Blue / Darkest of Seasons / Fallen Cedar / If I Needed You (Townes Van Zandt) / Cold Clear Moon / Pieces of Sky / Song For Gilda (work in progress) / Roscoe (What a Gift) (Grand Hallway)

Tom Brosseau was ostensibly the headliner, but quite a few people left after Tomo Nakayama’s performance.  Tomo’s from Seattle, so it makes sense that he’d have a local contingent who’d come and pack his performance.  Tom’s from North Dakota and I guess there aren’t many of them in Seattle.  Those who stuck around–and it was the vast majority of the audience–definitely made the right choice.  Tom Brosseau was a lot of fun.  He’s more of a troubadour, storyteller type-of-singer.  In fact, I think it’s safe to say that he was talking at least a third of the time he was up on stage.  I would normally find that kind of thing annoying, but Tom was charming and had a way with words and presentation, so I didn’t mind.  Although all of his songs were enjoyable, I found myself occasionally wishing he’d finish whatever he was playing so we could get to the next story.  That’s never happened before.  Here are the songs he played with little notes about the stories:

Tom Brosseau setlist: (Lock, CA–>Ace Hotel–>introduction–>tuning) / My Favorite Color Blue / I Wanna Be a Van Zandt (unreleased) / Love Cannot Die (new) / Rope Stretchin’ Blues, Part 1 (Blind Blake) / (weather–>bought a sweater) / “I feel something that I can’t explain” / Today Is a Bright New Day / Jane and Lou / (no time for the cave diving short story–>”lotta sad songs on this list”–>family stories) / I Found a Horseshoe

Tom Brosseau encore: Soldiers Beyond the Blue (Carter Family – duet with Shelley Short) / Walk Through an Autumn Day (new) / Jingle Bells Help Me Get Drunk (wtf)

We’d thought about calling it a night after Tomo Nakayama’s set and skipping Tom Brosseau entirely, but I’m glad we stuck around for him.  Although I’d never even heard of him before, I enjoyed his performance and now consider myself a fan.  And I know I’ll never forget that totally absurd song he closed his set with…no matter how long I live.  It was also nice to hear Shelley Short sing a little bit more during the encore set.

All told it was a great night of live music.  My only regret is that we didn’t stick around at the end and buy that lovely tour poster at the merch table.  I’m sure the singers would’ve been happy to sign it.  It would’ve been a fine addition to the collection.  Oh well.

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Bootleg Yeti and the State of Things

2017 is over.  It’ll go down in my history as being the year I forgot to get any haircuts at all, and for that time I mucked up my knee in the Lego Store while trying to make a Darren Hanlon minifigure out of spare parts.  It was also the year Beth made me a Bootleg Yeti Uglydoll.  It took six months, but we’re both quite happy with the results.  Here it is:

2018 is here.  So far, it’s the year everything with a battery–phone, garage door opener, car–konks out all at once.  It’s a good thing Bootleg Yeti is full of fluff.

That’s all I have to say about the past or the present.  I’m here to talk about the future…specifically the future of this website.  I’m going to start a new series of posts in the upcoming weeks called The Forgotten Concerts of 2017.  The series is going to deal with the shows I attended last year that I never got around to writing about.  There should be six or seven of them (some of which might actually be of interest to a couple of you).  I’ve got the marquees, setlists, ticket scans, and blurry stage shots ready; I’ve just got to come up with the blathering.  The concert write-ups were always some of my favorite posts, so I want to fill in the gaps in the history and concentrate on those going forward.  I wouldn’t expect much else to happen around here.

I’ll add the forgotten concerts down here as I write and post them:

And here are the two forgotten concerts from 2012:

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Mark Pickerel @ Sea-Tac Airport (11/22/17)

Sometimes it occurs to me that I’m a lucky man.  I suppose there are many reasons why I could say that, but the one that sticks out in my mind today is that I keep running into Mark Pickerel at the airport.  As long-time readers may recall, Mark Pickerel is one of my favorite Seattle-area musicians; he occasionally performs at Sea-Tac as part of the airport’s Experience the City of Music program.  I don’t know how often he participates in the program, but last Wednesday was the third time our airport schedules have overlapped.  As far as I’m concerned, walking around the terminal and suddenly hearing Mark Pickerel singing to passersby is pretty much the best thing that can happen at an airport.

Here he is out in front of the Sub Pop store on the day before Thanksgiving:

Although I missed the beginning and end of Mark’s performance, I was there for an hour and 15 minutes and got to hear over a dozen songs.  Here’s what he played while I was there:

Setlist: … / Be Here to Love Me (Townes Van Zandt) / Chim Chim Cher-ee (from Mary Poppins) / Forest Fire / Let Me Down Easy / She’s Got Wheels / Man Overboard / Dance Me to the End of Love (Leonard Cohen) / Graffiti Girl / Your Avenue / I’ll Wait / Essence (Lucinda Williams) / Don’t Look Back / This Strange Effect (Ray Davies)–>Back to Black (Amy Winehouse) / House of the Rising Sun (trad.) / …

Much like the other times I saw him, Mark played a mix of original material and cover songs.  Highlights for me included “Graffiti Girl” from his first solo album on Bloodshot, a brand new story song called “She’s Got Wheels”, and a two song medley of “This Strange Effect” and “Back to Black”.  The Ray Davies’ song was basically a request after I’d seen the title on the big setlist sheet sitting by the microphone stand and asked Mark about it.

As always, Mark was very approachable and willing to chat in between songs.  We briefly talked about the new song, what it’s like to perform at an airport, and I even made a joke about $5 hugs that initially went over well…until we thought about it and realized that I was sort of calling him a prostitute.  I tried to make up for it by giving him a bag of quarters as I was leaving.  I’m not sure that really helped.

[The first two write-ups can be found here: 4/7/16, 7/21/16]

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the Clientele @ Neumos (11/9/17)

[NOTE: Here’s the sixth post in my Forgotten Concerts of 2017 series.  This one was published on February 3rd, 2018, but I have altered the date so that it fits in chronologically.  Let’s pick this one up mid-sentence, after the bit about road rage.]

…we stumbled on a great parking place over by the Braeburn.  We left the umbrella and my rain jacket in the car and then promptly got rained on a couple blocks down the hill.  Still, we made it to Annapurna only partially drenched.  The restaurant was packed.  Beth and I shared an order of momos and then split the vegetable kofta and a cauliflower dish for our dinner.  It was all delicious.

The weather cleared while we were in Annapurna, so we didn’t have to walk to Neumos in the rain.  We got to the venue a good 20 minutes after the doors had opened.  The entire upstairs section with seating was closed off, so it didn’t matter that we got there later than we’d planned.  No seats anyway.  We stood in the middle for a couple songs by the opening act, a charming pop band from New York called EZTV, but then headed for the side where we could lean against the wall for back support.  I liked EZTV and will probably buy their stuff when I see it (but didn’t at the show because I didn’t feel like carrying it around), so I wrote down their setlist with an eye toward it possibly meaning something someday.  Here it is:

EZTV setlist: Bury Your Heart / Racing Country / Pretty Torn Up / Listen to Her Heart (Tom Petty) / Long Way to Go / There Goes My Girl / Daytime (new song) / Hammock / “falling through…nowhere else to go” / Calling Out / The Light

The Clientele were next and they were absolutely amazing.  Oh my goodness.  The sound was crisp and better than I’ve ever heard it before in Neumos, and the band was playing with a combination of intensity and beauty that I’ve rarely witnessed.  They played an interesting mix of early material from Suburban Light and The Violet Hour along with songs from their new record, Music For the Age of Miracles.  They mostly skipped over the middle years.  That’s fine with me as that era was pretty well covered the first time we saw the band.

[NOTE: If I haven’t mentioned it somewhere before, I’d like to mention it here right now: Music For the Age of Miracles is my favorite album of 2017.  I can’t even think of anything I enjoyed half as much.]

It dawned on me in the middle of the show that I was incredibly lucky to be seeing the Clientele again.  The band was, after all, on hiatus for 7 or 8 years.  Oh, and one more thing…I got to see the Clientele in autumn, on a cold and rainy day.  That’s a band at its ideal place and time.  That’s like seeing Jimmy Buffett on the beach in summer (although I’d never want to see Jimmy Buffett anytime or anyplace or even hear his music accidentally in a store–and the comparison doesn’t really hold up as the beach is a Buffett-appropriate place, but there’s nothing specific about Neumos that makes it a good place for the Clientele to play…unlike, say, a library or a shop that sells sweaters).  But anyway, here’s the Clientele’s setlist:

the Clientele setlist: Since K Got Over Me / Monday’s Rain / The Violet Hour / The Neighbor / E.M.P.T.Y. / We Could Walk Together / Porcelain / Missing / Everyone You Meet / Lunar Days / (I Want You) More Than Ever / The Museum of Fog (spoken by Elethea?) / Lamplight / The Age of Miracles

the Clientele encore: Reflections After Jane / As Night Is Falling

The show ended a little before midnight.  We headed out into the night and walked back to the car in what was probably the quietest I’ve ever witnessed Capitol Hill.  No loud drunks.  No roving bands of crime pirates.  No shattering bottles.  Just the two of us content in the fact that we’d gotten to share one of our favorite bands again.

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Filthy Friends @ the Midpoint Music Festival (9/23/17)

[NOTE: This is the fifth post in my Forgotten Concerts of 2017 series.  As I’ve done with the other posts in this series, I’ve basically just typed in my pen and paper journal entry from the day in question.  I’ve done some editing on this one, though, as I wrote some particularly mean things about the New Pornographers and felt the need to temper that rage a bit for public consumption.  This post was published on February 1st, 2018, but I have altered the date so that it fits in chronologically.  Let’s pick up mid-sentence.]

…we began planning our trip to and from the Midpoint Music Festival.  It’s downtown tonight and I really didn’t feel like driving down and trying to find parking.  After much consideration and a lot of back-and-forth, we decided to take the bus down.  We caught one at the corner of Paxton and Linwood.  It wasn’t a direct trip, but we didn’t have to concern ourselves with any transfers.  We got down with plenty of time and even got off a few stops early for drinks at the downtown Coffee Emporium.  We heard a great song in there called “Couldn’t Spend Another Day” by the Ministry of Sound.  Gotta remember that one.

We then walked through downtown to the festival site, which basically consisted of the Taft Theatre and the Masonic Lodge next-door (where I’d seen Luluc).  Both buildings featured two stages and I was happy to see that they were connected by an interior door.  Still, the festival was very poorly designed and it was difficult to figure out which stage was which and who was performing where at any particular time.  It was a mess.

We wandered around and looked at the booths and browsed at the Shake It Records pop-up store.  We bought three books between the two of us.

We made our way to the bigger stage in the Masonic Lodge to see Filthy Friends at 7:00.  The band–which features (from left to right) Kurt Bloch, Scott McCaughey, Linda Pitmon, Corin Tucker, and Peter Buck–were the festival’s big draw for us, and I started to get really excited just watching them set up their equipment.  And I was drinking a Bubbles.

Beth and I stood down in front for the entire 45 minute set.  I can honestly say it was the most fun I’ve had at a concert in ages.  We danced, shouted, screamed, and blew-out our ears to a dozen songs we’d never even heard before.  Kurt mugged for anyone with a camera.  Scott hopped up and down.  Linda beat the hell out of the drums.  Corin belted out the words.  Peter just stood there with all the confidence that comes from knowing he’s the coolest, richest, and best-dressed guy in the entire room.

I kept a setlist, of course, but it was hard to do with all the jumping around.  Also, it was very loud…so loud I had trouble making out the lyrics.  Still, here’s the setlist (songs marked with an asterick were new):

Filthy Friends setlist: The Arrival / Despierta / Windmill / Only Lovers Are Broken* / No Forgotten Son / Second Life / Love in the Time of Resistance* / Come Back Shelley / Any Kind of Crowd / Ides (of) October* (described as “a climate change party song”) / Brother / Makers

The whole thing ended with a big grin on my face and tears in my eyes.  Filthy Friends were so fun that they basically ruined the rest of the festival for us (although the festival’s poor organization and terrible sound had at least as much to do with it.)  We watched a couple songs by Valerie June, tried to see something called Frightened Rabbit, and eventually gave up due to boredom and disorganization.  We headed back to the Masonic Lodge to wait for the New Pornographers at 9:00.  I got a dubious Filthy Friends poster on the way.

The New Pornographers started up.  Although they were once one of my favorite bands and I’ve enjoyed them live before, I was ready to leave their Midpoint performance within 45 seconds.  We managed to hold out for a while against terrible sound, screeching feedback, a truly awful Neko Case placeholder who was clearly in the wrong band, and waves of disappointment emanating from the stage.  It eventually got to be too much.  We left after six songs.

We ditched the band and the entire festival (skipping out on Broken Social Scene) and caught an early bus back home.  We spent the rest of the night eating cake and watching Endeavour.

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Chris Robinson & Neal Casal @ the Silver Platters SoDo (8/1/17)

[NOTE: This is the fourth post in my Forgotten Concerts of 2017 series. This one tells the story of that time last summer when I walked four miles in the surprisingly hot Seattle sun to see one of my all-time favorite musicians (Neal Casal) sing harmonies and play guitar with that guy who used to be in the Black Crowes (Chris Robinson).  This post was published on January 27th, 2018, but I have altered the date so that it fits in chronologically.  We’ll pick this one up mid-sentence.]

…but it certainly was hot out when I eventually packed up and headed off for my walk to see Chris Robinson and Neal Casal perform an in-store at the Silver Platters in SoDo.  The show was scheduled for 6:00, but I left early as it’s over a four mile walk and I wanted to make a couple stops along the way and still have some browse time in the record store.

My first stop was at Beth’s office.  We went over and had coffee and donuts at Top Pot.  She went back to the office afterwards and I continued on my journey.  I walked a couple miles through downtown and Pioneer Square and eventually stopped off at the Macrina Bakery in SoDo.  I got a mini bing cherry pie and a San Pellegrino.  (Gotta stay hydrated and stuffed with baked treats).  I also used the last pristine convenience I’d see for hours.  Then I continued on to Silver Platters.

I got there at 5:00.  Chris Robinson and Neal Casal were both browsing.  I saw Chris pose with a silly poster and buy $80 worth of records.  I couldn’t see the titles, though.  Neal mostly hung around chatting.  The duo went up on stage at 5:30 and did a soundcheck.  They played a song called “Blonde Light of Morning”.  It really sounded good when Neal joined in on harmonies.  He’s got a much better voice than his boss.

Beth showed up in the half hour between the soundcheck and the main performance.  She was browsing in the classical section when things got underway.  Chris and Neal made their way back on stage, kicked off their shoes, and proceeded to play a six song acoustic set.  Their first official song was the one they’d soundchecked, so the full setlist looked like this:

Chris Robinson & Neal Casal setlist: Blonde Light of Morning (soundcheck) / Blonde Light of Morning / Glow / Hark, The Herald Hermit Speaks / If You Had a Heart to Break / High Is Not the Top / Blue Star Woman

All six of those songs are from the new Chris Robinson Brotherhood album, Barefoot in the Head.  I enjoyed the songs but didn’t feel like I needed to buy the record and then wait around to have it signed.  It was hot in Silver Platters and the whole place smelled like weed and sweat.  Beth and I wanted out of there as soon as possible.  We got in line and made our non-CRB purchases just as the last song was wrapping up.

We took a bus to Veggie Grill, ate dinner, and then took another bus back home.

[NOTE: And that is the story of how I finally marked Neal Casal off my old, Vox-era Top Ten Concerts to See list.  I would’ve preferred to see Neal on his own, but he’s a member of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and not doing many (if any) solo shows these days.  I’ll take what I can get.  I thought the show was a bit too hippie dippy at the time, but I’ve recently found a recording of it online.  It turns out the songs are quite enjoyable when listened to in fresh air and cooler temperatures.]

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