Last night, my friend Dave and I headed up to the Belly Up for what I thought was going to be a super mellow show. In fact, while full of alt-country twang, there was nothing sleepy about it. Magnolia Electric Co. started off the show with "Talk to me devil again" which happens to be my favorite song. They're a Secretly Canadian band and I thought were the perfect opener for Son Volt. Apparently some Belly Up Yuppie Asshole didn't agree and kept yelling "Son Volt" after every song, except for the one time when the super original genius yelled "Free Bird." Gee, haven't heard that one before. I took a couple pics but then realized I hadn't had anything to eat and gave in to a Belly Up cheeseburger, which was yummy, but there's something really not right about eating while watching a concert. Whatever, here are some pics:
When Son Volt did finally come on, I had no idea what to expect. My very first show at the Belly Up was back when Son Volt was touring after the release of their first album Trace and it was an amazing night. I don't remember the year, but let's just say my ID at the time said "Alicia Medina". Over the years I've seen Son Volt and Jay Farrar and the shows seem hit or miss. Sometimes he can be lively, other times, like the one time I took my sister and brother in law to see him, they actually fell asleep at the show. So let's just say my expectations weren't that high though the new album seems to be more upbeat than some of the other material they've put out.
With all that in mind, I was blown away by the show. Somehow Dave and I maneuvered up front. I had to tolerate this really drunk guy leaning into my neck and telling me how good I smelled, but he didn't last long so the discomfort, while not acceptable, was relatively just a blip on the night. The guitarist was amazing and had a beautiful collection of about 6 different guitars that he played throughout the night. Jay alternated between an acoustic guitar and this pretty red electric one. There's something about Jay's eyes that make him look like he needs a hug, but if he was unhappy, it was not evident in the music.
The 5 Son Volt pictures on this page were taken by Dave Fennema, by the way. His photography will be on display at Kate Ross next Saturday (April 14) for Ray At Night. You can also see some of his photos by clicking the link on the right to "California Stars".
I did take some video of a couple songs, but since my flight is leaving soon, you'll have to wait until next week for that. I was bummed that I recorded early, because they ended up playing some of my favorite songs toward the end of the set and my camera battery died. boo.
The guitar tech hooked me up with a set list at the end of the show, which I will be scanned later, but for now, you can be bummed that you missed the longest awesomest Son Volt set ever.
I'm off to Lake Tahoe....