The Replacements (Civic Center)
In 1989, I was in High School and I can recall always playing my cassette tape of Don’t Tell A Soul that my girlfriend gave me. This show was amazing; I can recall the opener, Night Club Jitters (from Pleased to Meet Me) and how a drunk (as usual) Paul Westerberg came out on stage grasping a martini glass and his microphone. After that, “The Mats” launched into cuts from Let it Be and Tim. I can remember this show getting extremely loud towards the end and how the lights came on in the venue during their second encore.
The highlights from this show were Skyway and Can’t Hardly Wait (both songs from Pleased To Meet Me).
Whiskeytown (Club Tavern)
Sometimes as I drive down University Avenue and pass the Club Tavern what flashes though my memory is a young, disheveled Ryan Adams sitting on a barstool reading a worn out copy of some paperback novel.
Whiskeytown played the small, but intimate Club Tavern on 3/22/98 and fortunately my wife and I were there to witness this great local performance. A year or so after this, Whiskeytown broke up and Adams launched into his prolific solo career.
J.J. Cale (Luther’s Blues)
An American icon with a full band in a great venue made for a remarkable experience in the summer of 2002.
We arrived early and moved to the front of stage left never really knowing that the microphone stand directly in front of us was Mr. John W. Cale’s. To experience this show up close was truly a life changing event. The Highlights included Ride Me High and Travelin’ Light. Check out JJ Cale Live: A close match up to this show.
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (Barrymore Theater)
A rainy evening and a great last minute decision to venture out to the Barrymore brought an intimate evening with two accomplished musicians.
After this show I became an admirer of David Rawlings. His guitar style, being truly unique and Welch’s guitar/banjo blended together so well with their indistinguishable vocal harmonies.
The highlights of this show included an out in front (no microphones) rendition of Long Black Veil. This was that kind of performance that left you speechless on the way out of the theater.
Tortoise (Barrymore Theater)
Around the time of this show I was really into the Standards album and how they started to initiate more eletronica into their already complex progressive sound. I had always wanted to witness Tortoise in live setting.
Autumn of 2002 at the Barrymore Theater, I recall talking to Dan Bitney (former Madisonian and ex-Tar Babies member) about their tour, the recording process and how I was excited to witness Tortoise for the first time. I was not prepared for what was to follow. As a musician, I was so intrigued at how each band member was so musically adept and could freely move about from one instrument to another.
The highlights from this show was when Herndon and McEntire got behind the drums kits and dove into TNT (from TNT) and Seneca (from Standards)
The latest rumor is that drummer/producer John McEntire (Sea & Cake) is hinting for a late 2007 Tortoise release!
Guided By Voices (Annex)
The Annex on Regent Street: What an amazing little place to witness a band up close…close enough for lead singer, Robert Pollard to
hand me a beer from his “stage cooler”. November, 19th, 2003 – his show was about one year before they had decided to announce the end of GVB.
Since then, the creative Pollard has put out several great solo releases. Also check out the new live release from GBV. See pictures from this show.