Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Joseph Arthur, Anthology, 7/23/08

Wednesday night was a long night that started early. With Dagart, my preferred partner in crime (PPIC) in tow, we made our way downtown around 6:30 to attend the beer and sake festival held at the W Hotel and hosted by the Japan Society of San Diego.

I won the tickets from a giveaway on and I really don't know how much I should gush about the event, but it was awesome. Of course, it was 'sampling', so the first couple pours of sake seemed weak, but it didn't take long to realize, between bites of ahi from Jade Theatre and spoonfuls of goodness from Nobu, that those little sips of sake quickly add up. We sampled several sakes before moving upstairs to the Beach for the beer tasting. Once there we found more food and got some heftier pours with the beer sampling. I ran into a couple old friends while enjoying the rooftop. And, for the record, I didn't bring out my camera once at this event.

After a couple hours of drinking and snacking on the various samples, it was time for us to walk over to Anthology. Talk about a change of scenery that smacks you in the face. Where the W was packed elbow-to-elbow, Anthology was virtually empty, with less than 50 people there for the show, and with the set-up of dinner tables, it looked even more sparse and you could hear a pin drop. Unfortunately we missed the opener, but at least our timing worked out and we arrived between acts. We were on the guest list, but I was also supposed to have photo privileges. Not having prior experience at a show for the venue, I wasn't sure exactly how that would work, but the hostess said, "oh, cool, we'll just let the security know". We ran into Jake and Malinda and hung with them for a bit and also Jeff, who was nice enough to buy us a round of drinks.

When Joseph hit the stage, he obviously noticed how empty the venue was and immediately asked that everyone move closer to the stage, which made for a much better show, but it was just unfortunate that he wasn't playing the Casbah or something where he might've had a bigger draw. On the other hand, the sound there was incredible and the few people there hung on every word, every lyric, every note. He played a couple songs then played mostly requests, which was kinda funny to hear how many of his own songs he doesn't remember. It made me remember how much the guy writes. His latest EP was in a series of four released over the last year, but on top of that, I had to stop subscribing to his MySpace blog because he just posted way too much for me to ever keep up with. The guy bleeds and breathes words. And we were lucky enough to be there to watch it happen live.

If you missed it, I posted video here. See more pictures if you 'keep on reading'.

The really crazy part of that night was after Anthology was all said and done, we went to the Casbah. Unfortunately, Aspects of Physics canceled because one of the dudes cut his hand on a glass. It was wrapped but he had to elevate and you could still see it bleeding through the gauze, so it was pretty gnarly. Still, we hung out with some friends before acknowledging it was late and time to call it a night. It's these nights...the 3 venue in one night nights...that make me really love and appreciate this city.

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