If I had to make a list of my Top Ten Concerts ever, I think it’s realistic to say that at least half of them would be Alejandro Escovedo at the Southgate House. I’ve seen the same man at the same venue so many times that I’ve lost count. Contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t get repetitive. Alejandro Escovedo is everything I love about music all wrapped up in one man. He can get the fists pumping with flat-out rock & roll and then follow that very song with a beautiful ballad that will leave the audience in tears. I’m serious…I know I’ve cried every single time I’ve seen him. And he’s a snappy dresser, too.
Despite the great shows I’ve seen him put on, I almost skipped this one due to some back pain that’s been nagging me since I was at the Tractor Tavern a few weeks ago. It just won’t go away. I’m getting old. I thought maybe I’d stay home and whine, but I said screw it and went anyway. I just happened to put on my best concert-going shirt when I woke up this afternoon. It seemed like a sign.
Oh, I’m so glad I went. Not only did Alejandro Escovedo solve my problem of what song to sing at next year’s KttD, but I got a preview of his upcoming record, Street Songs of Love. It’s due out June 29th and if the seven new songs he played are any indication, it’s going to be another classic. I usually dislike hearing new material in a live setting, but it’s a testament to both Alejandro’s bandmates and the quality of his songwriting that I didn’t care one bit. It was great. It wasn’t all new stuff, though. There were a couple songs from Real Animal and three amazing covers. No Mott the Hoople or Velvet Underground this time, but there’s always next year.
Here’s the setlist. The asterisked songs are new ones that may or may not be on Street Songs of Love.
Main set: Always a Friend/Everybody Loves Me/Anchor*/This Bed Is Getting Crowded*/Crooked Frame/Sister Lost Soul/Down in the Bowery*/Instrumental–>Rosalie/Street Songs*/Chelsea Hotel ’78/Castanets
First encore: After the Meteor Showers*/Tender Heart*/Beast of Burden (Rolling Stones cover)
Second encore: Faith*/Sway (Rolling Stones cover)/I Wanna Be Your Dog (Stooges cover)
Of course, here are a couple pictures from the evening. I could’ve had some shots from inside the venue except I’m not a dork with a thousand dollar camera flashing my flash all through a beautiful acoustic version of “Rosalie”. Have some class, man. You ruin the moment by trying to capture it.
And while I’m dishing it out, I’d like to tell Newport, Kentucky that it can kiss my ass. Yes, the entire town can get in line and pucker up. Newport’s stupid two hour parking meters that run until midnight may have gotten me last year, but I beat them this time. I caught tonight’s opening act, leisurely walked back to my car, fed the meter again, sprinted back to the SGH, and got there just a few seconds before “Always a Friend” started up. Then at the end of the show, I strolled back to my car a second time and found I had a whole two minutes left on the meter. My timing was on. Take that, Newport!