May 31, 2011

Concert #502 - Loudon Wainwright & Friends (Peter Case Benefit) at McCabe's Guitar Shop

This was the first of three sold-out concerts organized at McCabe's to benefit Peter Case, whose medical expenses had amounted to much more than his wallet could bear. Tickets cost $50 per night, a small amount to pay for a good cause, not to mention the chance to see a plethora of great musicians who offered their time and talent to help out a fellow musician in need.

Announced as "Loudon Wainwright III & Friends", the evening sold out ina couple of days.

Loudon Wainwright III
Van Dyke Parks
Inara George
George Gerdes
Peter Case
Leland Sklar
Grant Geissman

The concert kicked off with Van Dyke Parks and Inara George, who played a few songs from their earlier collaborative effort, Inara's "An Invitation" album. Not bad for a short set, but not my cup of tea for a full evening.

Inara George & Van Dyke Parks

Phranc's set was short, but quite good. She sang one of my favorite Phranc songs, "I Like You", then she followed up with "I'm A Peter Case Lover", a paraphrase of her own "Live Lover".

Loudon Wainwright brought out a somewhat reluctant Peter Case, at his first public appearance after his open heart surgery in January 2009. Looking understandably weak and out of shape, Peter brought the house down with his version of Blind Willie McTell's "Broke Down Engine Blues".

Peter Case
Loudon's long-time friend and collaborator George Gerdes popped in for a couple of songs, while the legendary Leland Sklar and guitarist Grant Geissman provided accompaniment during much of the evening.

Leland Sklar
The show was closed, as expected, by Loudon Wainwright. It was my seventeenth time to see him live in concert, which probably explains why I can't remember a single song he played that night. But he was his usual good self, that I know.

All-in-all, it was a fun evening, with a few great artists coming and going in quick succession, which kept all of us fully engaged until the lights went on.

Concert poster in the window at McCabe's (with unwanted street reflections)

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