• They KILLED!

    Dic 29 2014, 3:29

    Sat 27 Dec – The Roots
    OK, maybe they didn't kill for the entire show, but they killed for more than half of it; and much of the rest was inventive weirdness. Plus: choreography! Plus: more than two hours of performance! Plus: the sound upstairs at the Fox was the best I've heard in that balcony.

    I can't believe I'm the only last.fm user who saw this show... Show of the year. Show of the last two or three years.
  • Rickie's a capella spiritual

    Lug 4 2014, 6:25

    Sat 28 Jun – Rickie Lee Jones
    In the middle of her solo show at Yoshi's S.F., Rickie Lee Jones was playing Scary Chinese Movie when the guitar amplification went pop! and died. While she waited for the crew to fix it, she delivered an old spiritual a capella. Not sure what it is, but I found lyrics for one online called "The Blood" that looks pretty close to what she sang; her song definitely mentioned the Blood of Jesus.

    After that, she decided not to tempt the Chinese ghosts any more, and went on to Altar Boy.
  • Sad to say, this was kinda dull

    Giu 21 2014, 19:39

    Fri 20 Jun – Joe Henry / Dan Wilson
    Dan Wilson is a nerdy songwriter. He had some stories to tell among the songs, which all tied together nicely, and he's mostly charming. A couple of the songs were performed very well, and the rest were fine. I just wish the songs were better.

    I was there for Joe Henry, who was playing in a pared down presentation: acoustic guitar (piano for a few songs), solo or accompanied by Levon Henry (sax, clarinet). Mostly songs from the new album (unfamiliar to me), a few older numbers. But the songs had a sameness to them; and the show overall was langorous. A rhythm section would have made a big difference.

    My friend left after the first half hour of JH's set, and I was considering doing the same, but I did stick it out to the end. The crowd was appreciative (and respectful), and called him back for an encore. He introduced the encore saying: We'd love to do this all night, but I don't have any up-tempo numbers. There's no Thunder Road.
  • Bring the hearing protection

    Dic 11 2013, 8:40

  • Those DANCES!

    Nov 2 2012, 3:02

    Sun 28 Oct – Einstein on the Beach
    There was way too much to this to capture in a last.fm edit box. But I did want to say how totally astonished I was by the Field Dance sections of this performance. Bundles of joyful energy bounding in and out of orbit like subatomic particles.

  • Not transcendent

    Apr 11 2012, 5:08

    Mon 9 Apr – Jeff Mangum
    From the applause Jeff got, I'm sure this is a minority opinion, but I wasn't very impressed by this show. The performance was fine, but nothing exciting happened. It seemed a little rote, a little devoid of conviction.

    The opening trio of Elephant-Sixers was pretty mediocre.
  • RLJ in Saratoga

    Nov 8 2011, 3:17

    Fri 4 Nov – Rickie Lee Jones
    Very nice show. Danny's All-Star Joint was particularly great, with a jumpin' groove and Rickie ad-libbing about losing her bobby pin as she tried to tame her hair while playing. For once, Rickie seemed to be pretty satisfied with her band: Reggie McBride on bass, Johnny Friday on drums, and a cellist whose name I unfortunately have forgotten.
  • Redman/Mehldau cover a Jeff Buckley song!

    Ott 25 2011, 2:26

    Sat 22 Oct – Joshua Redman at Herbst Theatre
    This show was Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau in duet. Great stuff, originals and some covers.

    Joshua & Brad covered Dream Brother, and it was real jazz.
  • Sat 25 June – Lucinda Williams, David Lindley

    Giu 26 2011, 17:50

    Saw only a little of David Lindley's set. Liked what I saw. He was shooed off before starting what he thought was his last number, and the management was booed for that.

    Lucinda Williams was pretty good. She had a hot guitar player—Blake Mills, if I'm remembering right—and a solid rhythm section behind her. The jams were really good. Something about her songwriting has been lacking since Car Wheels—which is a long time. Many of the songs were downtempo, and she's mostly pretty low-key, so the singing parts weren't as consistently exciting as I would like. She seemed to be in good spirits, a lot of smiling and dancing. She only played guitar on a few numbers.

    This is the first time I've been to the Mountain Winery since they renovated. The venue itself is pretty nice, with good sound, but it has lost the rustic vibe of years past. The management is determined to make its customers pay, and pay, and pay for the privilege of their fancy architecture. Minimal food and drink, plus parking, ran $70. (If we'd eaten at an on-site restaurant, that would have at least doubled.) I guess it's not out of line with what gets charged at arenas, but it stuck in my craw anyway.

    The show was not sold out and even the seats up front were not completely filled.