The last time I updated my Top Ten Concerts to See list, there were only three bands still on it. One of them was Ida, a group I’ve loved since I bought their Tales of Brave Ida album based solely on its cover art. That would’ve been about twelve years ago.
They’re a difficult band to catch up with. They don’t tour very often–and when they do tour, they hardly go anywhere at all. Take the Ida World Tour 2010, for example. It consisted of four scheduled shows spread out over three months…and I think at least one of the shows got canceled.
When I heard Ida would be playing in Portland, I made sure to schedule my next trip to visit Beth so that it would coincide with the show. Two good things are always better than just one good thing. That’s how I look at it.
So here’s a jumbly paragraph about all the different forms of transportation I used to finally track down Ida:
Well, my mom picked me up from my house (in Cincinnati) and drove me to the airport (in Kentucky). Then I walked with my Jimmy Stewart suitcase through security and onto one of those moving sidewalks for the lazy or laden. Then I took an escalator up to my terminal, got on a plane, and flew for 4 hours and 27 minutes to Seattle (viva! Seattle Tacoma, viva viva Sea-Tac!). Then I walked off the plane and got on a monorail that announced everything in Japanese. I exited that and walked out of the airport and over to the light rail station. I rode the train to Westlake Center. From there, I walked up the hill with my increasingly heavy suitcase until I eventually came to Beth’s office. Later, we rented a Zipcar named Mumu and drove out of Seattle and all the way down to Portland (Oregon, which I can now mark off my list of states). Beth drove and I was the co-pilot. It was my job to point out when she was driving the wrong way down a one-way street. It wasn’t much of a job as she only did it twice. We eventually got to Portland and drove to Mississippi Studios. We found a parking spot, ran through the rain, and finally ended up safe and sound and dry at the venue where we finally saw Ida perform. Whew!
The four state, 2,000 mile, twelve year journey was well worth it. Ida was even better than I could’ve imagined. Sure, their tour was brief, but they didn’t sound out of practice. The music sounded great and the voices…oh, the voices! I don’t know if there are two voices that blend together better than those of Elizabeth Mitchell and Daniel Littleton. Oh my.
Here’s their setlist:
Ida’s main set: Willow Tree/See the Stars/For Shame of Doing Wrong (Richard Thompson)/The Love Below/Late Blues/Corona (Minutemen)/Ghosts of American Astronauts (Mekons)/”we met in a place where nothing could ever change”/Shrug–>17 Days (Prince)/The Morning/First Light/Maybelle/Backburner/Don’t Wreck It
Ida’s encore: Shoe In (Secret Stars)/Pain of Loving You (Dolly Parton)
M—–l Hurley came out onstage and played with Ida on “Pain of Loving You”. He also served as the opening act. He opened the evening with two solo covers. Then Ida came on out and served as his backing band for the rest of his set. Here’s the setlist for that performance:
M—–l Hurley’s opening set: Singing Waterfall (Hank Williams)/I Never Go Around Mirrors (Lefty Frizzell)/Hoot Owls/”my heart jumps straight to you tonight”/Hog of the Foresaken/Barbara Allen/O My Stars/Cars, Jars & Guitars/Wildegeeses/I Stole the Right to Live/I Paint a Design
Once again, I’ll fill in the rest of the setlists when I find the time. Until then, enjoy this video of the band performing “See the Stars”.