Thursday, May 31, 2007

Patty Griffin -- "Children Running Through"

First off, the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh is an excellent venue so I was REALLY excited to see Patty play there again. Second, her sound man was awful. But ... it WAS Patty after all ... and thank God for that! This woman CAN SING like few others live.

She came out, quietly, and sat down at the (poorly tuned) piano to begin her set and successfully crooned out two incredible tunes (set list below). Her fans love her so much. It's evident in the quiet envelope of her first two acoustic choices and it gave her a chance to show off her pipes. Much appreciated.

There were numerous posts to the Mad Mission fan board following the show but none of them commented on the crappola sound. I wasn't surprised because Patty fans are of the rabid variety that lean toward the "glass is half full" reviews. I still have some semblance of "well, .... okay" left in me to be objective. And I have to add, for those of you trying to figure out if you want to go see her as a newbie with little to no previous adoration embedded, she puts on one hell of a great solo artist show and she was nominated twice for a Grammy. Okay? And ... her voice is like pure velvet streaming down your back.

That said. Onto the other stuff.

Her set included:

J'irai La Voir Un Jour - solo/piano
First Star - solo/piano
Get Yourself Another Fool (Sam Cooke song)
Stay on the Ride
Trapeze (no Emmy Lou Harris but it lovely, nonetheless)
Useless Desires
Burgundy Shoes - piano
Kite Song - piano
As Cold as it Gets - solo
Mary - solo
Be Careful - Patty & Doug
When it Don't Come Easy
No Bad News
Love Throw a Line
Heavenly Day
I Don't Ever Give
Up Up to the Mountain - Patty vocals/Doug guitar Truth #2

Sweet Lorraine
Getting Ready

Personally, because I am such a crazy, rabid, nutball, off-the-charts "Flaming Red" CD fan, I love the harder rocking stuff on this new effort. The Heavenly Day song is ... um ... so, so for me. It's beautiful to hear her sing it live -- there is NO questioning THAT -- but it might have been a better second single off of this CD. Just my opinion. Burgundy Shoes is an absolute RINGER for the soft rock stations -- push THAT instead. Once again, my humble opinion. America needs some home comfort right now. That's an ace in the hole. Total Americana.

Her band totally rocked out on Truth #2 and No Bad News! It was a joy to watch her turn her back to us and fully engage with some hard strumming. WHEW! Man, she rocked those two and left us wanting more. Me, at least. *grin* The best part of the hard rockin' portion was watching Doug .... play a white wash bucket with his sticks ... the bucket flew off five feet in the air at the end. AWESOME!

Thank goodness that Dave Matthews' ATO Record label picked her up after that debacle with the Silver Bell CD. We are better human beings for having listened to her art. And how exciting is this? In 2007, the Atlantic Theater Company will produce "10 Million Miles," a musical based on the music of Patty Griffin, with book by Keith Bunin, directed by Michael Mayer. I mean ... really ... a TRIBUTE to her craft. It should be, if it's done right, awesome. It opens June 14th Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company at The Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street).

If you want to find out more about Patty or listen to her stuff, check out: her Mad Mission posting board for emails on her shows; her own site; or her My Space page. Enjoy! Bad sound men, be damned! Patty girl? You ROCK!


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