(Sorry for the jumbo pictures, I used the new uploader from photobucket and it didn't size down the photos like the old one does. Lesson learned but too much time to reload them all again)
Starting off the night was Denver musician Eric Corne and his band. Strong vocals on the Americana side with some violin and harmonica thrown in, and I remembered why I love seeing this kind of band in the wood-rich environment of the Belly Up. The sound was crisp and it was fun to play around with the lighting. I couldn't take my eyes of the keyboardist because he was so commanding in his performance. Unfortunately he was relegated to the edge of the stage out of the lights so no pics but I was actually wondering if he has his own project because he was phenomenal.
Let me be a total girl here for a second and say that the only reason I took this picture was because there is nothing sexier, especially in these times of skinny jeans and rail thin pretty boys, to see a sexy man in good ol 501's. It was worth the picture.
Crooked Fingers was up second and Eric Bachmann is notorious for wanting very low lights, so not as much fun to photograph but as usual they sounded great, even with his ever-evolving cast of backup musicians. He's got this great drummer who is also awesome to watch because he plays with his entire body and gives every song every ounce of energy he has.
Then there's Devotchka.
Comprised of individuals with origins spanning the globe, each ingrained with particular cultural pasts, DeVotchka's live show is an absolute spectacle. Using instruments to that effect, (a determined and eclectic United Nation-al junkyard of sousaphones, accordions, and bouzoukis), this diverse ensemble successfully blends a multifaceted folk sound, thus designing an ethnicity of old and new all its own.Pretty much says it all, though even that doesn't shed light on how amazing the live show is. It's a rare nigth that I don't take a break outside, run to the restroom, or hit the bar a few times, but on this night I stayed right where I was as I did not want to lose my spot.
First the setlist:
This was my third time seeing the band live and it's one of those things where you know they're great, you're expecting an great performance, and even with those high expectations, the band over-delivers. The emotion of every song, every note, mixed with the lighting was dramatic- at times solemn, at times uplifting, and at times exhuberant, the performance feels like watching an opera, all the while walking away wanting to tell everyone that they have to see it.
The really incredible thing was that the band played for nearly two hours, which was unexpected but very much appreciated since the last time they played was at Street Scene which of course meant an abbreviated set.
After the show I was hoping for a setlist but everyone grabbed them. I kinda hung around hoping there were more by the drumkit or near the back of the stage that I could get. A soundtech picked one up and then handed it to the person next to me and I was a little bummed. But then the trumpet player came out from the backstage area and handed me a setlist, saying he could see that I was looking for one. His name, as I came to find out after the show, is Chris Barron, and he gets my hero of the night award for being so kind, putting the seal on a perfect night of music.
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