Friday night I attended yet another great show at my favorite venue.
In this blog, with very few exceptions, opening acts get mentioned in the closing paragraphs of my write-ups. Daniel Rodriguez is one such exception. As he took the stage, I braced myself for a long and boring set, but it took him no more than a few minutes to grab my full attention. What stood out first and foremost to these ears was his songwriting - there was a lot of variety in his songs and not one of his numbers could be labeled as "filler material". I was most impressed with "Dolores", the final song of Daniel's set, and also with "Take Me As I Am". He's also a skilled guitar player and a decent singer and have I mentioned his good looks? Quite deservedly, he received one of the longest and loudest applause ever given to an opening act at McCabe's. I would have loved to hear a few more of his songs.
|Daniel Rodriguez at McCabe's|
With their dissimilar voices, Allison Russell and TJ Nero complemented each other to great effect. Except for Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust', delivered by Allison in French, we heard one great original song after another. With a set as consistently solid as theirs, it is impossible to pick a highlight, but "American Flowers", the catchy show-ending number, is still ringing in my ears.
|Allison Russell & TJ Nero at McCabe's|
|Allison Russell at McCabe's|
|Allison Russell & Andy Stack at McCabe's|
|Andy Stack with the Birds of Chicago at McCabe's|
|The end of the show, with Daniel and Andy joining Allison & TJ|
|The final bow|
|The set list of the Birds of Chicago|
|Daniel Rodriguez's set list|
|The listening room|
|Birds of Chicago T-shirts for sale at McCabe's|