Aplscruf's Music Blog

Counting Crows with Augustana 7.16.2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Counting Crows with Augustana

Marymoor Park, Redmond

Another great show, just one week after seeing the Gourds. Finally, I feel like we’re relaxed again and we can settle in to summer. It feels so good to be employed and have the freedom to go see shows without wondering if I’ll ever see another. We’ve never seen Counting Crows, so we were happy to hear they were playing at Marymoor Park on our anniversary. P was able to score amazing 8th row seats, just right of the stage.

I made it home from work by 4:00, and we were outta the house by 5:00. Boy refused to go to Grandma’s house, so he stayed at home. No big deal, he’s older now. We told him we’d call right after the show.

We took the back roads in to Redmond and decided to get a drink and appetizers at El Matador before the crawl into Marymoor Park. I knew it would be bad entering the park, because it was right at rush hour. So we got to take our time at the Matador and had great appetizers of ahi tuna and little southwest spring rolls with black beans and chicken. I had a mojito and P stuck to good ale. He, of course, ran into two people he knew there. They were actually two guys he went golfing with a couple of weeks before. It was weird, because he’d just met them at his friend’s golf getaway in Chelan, and there they were! I thought for sure we’d run into someone he knew at the show, too. They were really nice, but I noticed they’d checked me out when I first arrived and sat down by myself in the patio area while P had settled our drink tab at the bar. P then turned around and introduced me to them. Funny reaction. Anyway, they seemed nice.

After sitting in traffic for about ½ hour, we made it in to the park. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. We had time to go get a drink and some water, and then go find our seats. They really did start promptly at 7:15, as the email warned. We got to walk right up front of the stage to find our seats, which was cool.

Adam, the lead singer, was extremely energetic and bouncy all night. His fat, black locks bounced along with him as he jumped up and down off the front amps, jumped off his piano bench, and generally bounced around the stage.

He did something I’ve never seen an artist do before. Instead of having Augustana–a very young folk/pop band–open to a half-attending crowd, he insisted they play on stage with CC’s the whole night! It was great; the audience was ready to go at 7:15, and they were all up there together. A 12 piece band! He told the audience he’d been in Redmond for 4 days rehearsing and making sure this was going to work out. He said he didn’t sleep well, but he would tonight, as the show was a great success. He would mix in CC songs and then play on Augustana’s songs. Once in awhile he’d leave and let them play a few of their own. It made for a very lively, energetic night, with lots of great music.

Songs I recognized:

Mrs. Potter (my fave)

Mr. Jones

Rain King (with this song, he mixed in a medley of two or three other songs including Beatles’ Help From My Friends before returning to the Rain King finale

Cecilia (Simon and Garfunkel)

California Dreamin’

Stones song Sweet Virginia (got to scrape that shit right off yer shoes)

Lots of other CC songs, but I don’t remember their names, including stuff off their new album

Augustana has two songs they play regularly on the Mountain, one called Sweet and Low, I believe. They jammed together, and sounded great with Counting Crows and brought out the banjos and mandolin for some bluegrass foot-stomping. I really enjoyed Augustana and as a super group with Counting Crows.

We had to leave a little early, but they were on their last song of the evening: Pete Seeger’s This Land Is Your Land. It was a glorious finale for our anniversary night out.

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2009, Marymoor Park, Music | , , | Leave a comment

The Gourds 7.9.2009

The Gourds at the Tractor Tavern
Thursday July 9, 2009

Ahh. Life is good…again. Now we’re back in the swing of things. We have held off the shows this year due to my unfortunate job situation. Life is interesting. Now I’m full time again, so we were ready to roll! The boy went to camp all week, so we were free. We enjoyed a movie one night (The Hangover, totally funny from the beginning to an ending that made my cry with laughter all the way back to the car) good dinners, and then The Gourds. Although we had to work Friday morning, we were ready for a great Thursday night out.

The Gourds are one of our favorites; they are always a pleasure to watch and just feel their musical energy. They were at their scruffy, “unwashed and well-read” best, although the lead singer looked a little more clean-shaven, having shaved off most of the beard and leaving a long goatee.

Shinyribs (a.k.a. Kevin Russell of The Gourds) opened with acoustic versions of an old George Jones song, and even one called “Let Me Buy You a Drink” from T-Pain, which he called his ironic song, since he’s afraid all good music will now be played with robot voices. He probably played close to 45 minutes.

Finally, about 10:00 The Gourds came on. I was yawning already from my long day, but was so excited to see them again. We were again right up by the stage, in our favorite place, close to Max, the banjo/fiddle/slide guitar player and close to the water and bathrooms. They played many songs I liked but didn’t recognize, because they are off their latest album [I purchased it right after the show]. They also hit the old favorites like “My Name is Jorge” and our most favorite, “Pill Bug Blues”. Besides the faves, they also got busy with some amazing revival type songs that got people clapping for Jesus’ return and some crazy song about possums! I get more spiritual salvation from their music than I ever did in church.

There was a crazy drunk guy in the audience right behind me with a rainbow cowboy hat and a shirt that said, “Marriage is So Gay!” Too funny! Kev got a kick out of him, to a point, but he kept interrupting him with long howls of, “We loooovvve Auuustinnn!” or whatever the subject was. I kept looking back to see if he was going to throw up on my head, but he eventually drifted to the back and left early.

The Gourds played in a near-frenzied state for about an hour and a half, and then slowed it down a little. And when they get to a frenzied state, they are a sight to behold. They all line up and wail on their instruments. It’s something that is hard to put into words.

About 11:30, I was getting really tired, but I couldn’t give up now. I told P before we left to go to the show that I might break my own rules and leave the show before the encore, but he didn’t believe me! I was so tired, and so overheated. It was over 80 degrees that day, and even hotter in the tavern. I kept pounding the water, but I really needed to just get off my feet and get some fresh air. It was getting pretty ripe in there with all the sweaty bodies. My fingers were getting puffy from standing so long.

Well, I made it to the encore, so then I just had to stay and see what they played. I believe they played 3 more songs, so we were glad we stayed to the bittersweet end. I was sad it was over and we probably wouldn’t see them for another year; but I was happy to be back in the air-conditioned truck.

The Gourds are just so dynamic. Not only does Kev Russell sing, but the bassist Jimmy sings at least ¼ of the songs, and his fiddler Max sings 2-3 songs also. And this night, even the accordion player got to sing. He wasn’t great, but it was a cute song with a good beat.

I recently heard of a book that I must buy called Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. He is a neurologist who has done studies about people’s reaction to music. I saw him interviewed recently by John Stewart.  I am definitely one of those people who react so positively from music. He explained that some people have a very pleasurable reaction to music, in the same way that people have sexual pleasure. In fact, the reaction stems from the same portion of the brain. That would explain many of my behaviors toward music! I could never put my finger on it before; until P started noticing me at concerts several years ago and pointed out that I react in such a similar way. I really need to read that book! [I have since read it and loved it, although much of it focuses on brain disorders and brain injuries.]

After the show, we headed to Dick’s for our usual Special and shared a chocolate shake. I think I got about 4 hours of sleep, then back to work the next morning!

Next up, Counting Crows at Marymoor Park for our anniversary!

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2009, Music, The Gourds, The Tractor Tavern | , , | Leave a comment