[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.]