Once again I went to a concert unprepared, with minimal knowledge of the headliner's music, who last night happened to be Grant-Lee Phillips. I could have been in for a long and boring night of unfamiliar music, but as it turned out, I went home happy. Funny thing though, after three or four songs, it did look like I was going to be stuck there, having to listen to unknown songs best defined as "more of the same", without any tempo changes and sung pretty much in the same vocal style. But there were two factors that turned the concert around: the quality of Grant-Lee's compositions and his incredible voice.
Someone wrote on the Internet that Grant-Lee Phillips is "criminally under-appreciated". How true! There wasn't a bad song the whole night and there was enough variety there to keep my mind from wandering away. I don't think there are many songwriters out there who possess the gift of his melodic sense. Music this good should be heard everywhere, by everyone, and sadly, that's not the case. Grant-Lee's voice in the live setting of McCabe's was a revelation, even though there's nothing wrong with his recorded vocals. I thoroughly enjoyed the smoothness, precision and expressiveness of his singing.
To me, the best song of the evening was "Fuzzy", from his Grant Lee Buffalo days. I also liked "Mona Lisa", "Buffalo Hearts", Jupiter And Teardrop" and "Truly, Truly", but again, I liked everything he sang last night.
|The set list|
|Grant-Lee Phillips thanking the crowd|
|Grant-Lee Phillips leaving the stage|
|The stage just before Grant-Lee Phillips came out|
|Peter Mulvey (right) & Matt Lorenz at McCabe's|
Peter was accompanied by a musician called Matt Lorenz, who performs under the moniker of "The Suitcase Junket". Playing the fiddle, guitar and using his feet as his rhythm section, Matt created quite a stir with his unusual throat-singing sounds, as well as the quality of his playing. Come to think of it, I have never seen so much attention attracted by a musician whose role was to support an opening act.
|Matt Lorenz chatting with fans after the show|
|Peter Mulvey with my friend Steve|
|Peter's autograph on my newly-purchased CD|
|Matt Lorenz merchandise|