May 18, 2011

Concert #505 - T Bone Burnett & Friends (Peter Case Benefit Concert) at McCabe's Guitar Shop (May 3, 2009)

Only at McCabe's. Where else can you have a front-row center seat and see the heavyweights I got to see on May 3, 2009. But front-row center seats don't come easy - they have to be earned, so there I was at the door, first in line, more than two hours before they allowed people in. My friends may be right after all - I am crazy.

This was the third and final night of Peter Case benefit concerts held at McCabe's. Tickets cost $50, just like for the first two nights

T Bone Burnett
Richard Thompson
Katie Melua
Eric Idle
Syd Straw
Joe Henry
Geoff Muldaur
Bob Neuwirth
Sam Phillips
Peter Case
Carla Olson

The concert was kicked off by T Bone himself, who played five newer songs. He used two old vintage microphones that stayed on the stage for the entire duration of the concert.

Syd Straw came out with none other than Richard Thompson - it appeared to me that they had been chatting upstairs and when time came for Syd to take the stage, Richard simply tagged along, to Syd's utter surprise.

Syd Straw

Joe Henry's set was very well received - he played two well-crafted songs in his inimitable style.
Joe Henry at McCabe's (photo by Roman Cho)

A yet-to-be-fully-recovered Peter Case, accompanied by a string quartet, played "A Million Miles Away", the biggest hit the Plimsouls ever had. Following that, Peter was joined by Eddie Munoz and David Pahoa, his former Plimsouls bandmates, and together they played "Oldest Story in the World".

Carla Olson, helped out by Eddie Munoz and David Pahoa, played "Now", a song written by Peter Case during his Plimsouls days.

Helped by the same string quartet, Sam Phillips, T Bone Burnett's ex-wife, sang "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us", and received a huge applause for her outstanding delivery.

Sam Phillips
During the intermission, just as I was standing against the stage, Eric Idle came out to prepare for his upcoming set. Our eyes met, Eric winked at me and I nodded back in approval. That was my chance to quip "Say no more" in response to his wink, but that brilliant idea came to me only after the show. Eric then took the stage and sang two utterly funny songs meant primarily for adult audiences.
Eric Idle
T Bone Burnett came out to introduce Katie Melua, a European mega-star little known in the States, who happened to be in Los Angeles for a recording session with T Bone. I had been very familiar with her music and her stature, so seeing her up-close was the undisputed highlight of the evening. Katie sang the beautiful "Nine Million Bicycles" and I was in heaven.

Katie Melua at McCabe's (photo by Roman Cho)
Here's Katie Melua delivering "Nine Million Bicycles" pretty much like she sang it at McCabe's:

Geoff Muldaur and Bob Neuwirth delivered good sets consisting of two songs each.

Richard Thompson, the final solo performer of the evening, played four songs, among them "The Dimming Of The Day", then everyone came back for the grand finale, which was Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin'  Heart". And so ended an unforgettable night like I may never see again.

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