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Monday, April 25, 2005

Concert Review: Patty Griffin

You're clean as a widow woman's washboard, son,
stick it in the wind.
Put the mountains to your back
the great plains on your grille
time to take a little spin.

Over the past couple months I have been strung out on the musical equivalent of heroin that is the music of Patty Griffin.

I have the unusual tendancy in music to latch on to a particular group or artist and hold on until something new comes out or I lose interest. I had my huge B.A. phase which led to Def Leppard (which are basically the same musician), then it was a long, LONG 4 year hardcore phase of Pink Floyd.
Then came the hippy years of Sarah Mclachlan, Sinead Lohan, Cowboy Junkies, and Pearl Jam, which eventually led me to P. Griffen.

Unfortunately through my “phases” all I ever want to hear is that particular ‘band of the month/year’ and it usually takes months after months of constantly hearing the same albums when I finally choose another one.

Patty Griffen is definitely the taste of the month since I eventually picked up all four of her albums and only the Junkies have been able to infiltrate my play list.

After reading the tour news on her website, I found out that the closest she’ll get to the Twin Cities is Madison, WI. I thought about it for a long time on whether I should go or not.
I figured…
-It was on a Saturday and I don’t ever have that many open days to see a concert
-I haven’t seen a concert since S. Mclachlan in September
-I always enjoy touring 4th world countries like Wisconsin.
-I haven’t had a long road trip since Sodak.
-It was going to be a beautiful moonlit night
-It was probably going to be a “smart crowd” with a small chance for drunken idiots
-It was a small venue (less than 1000 seats)
-I needed some beer

-Tickets were only $25.
-I haven’t seen those crazy psychos from Illinois that race through Wisco at 90mph for a long time now. (God bless them crazy bastards!)
-Traveling in Wisco is definitely a character building adventure

So I decided to take a little Saturday night venture to Madison.

Never again.

When I got to Madison (I was making great time, GREAT TIME!) I sat down and started brainstorming on how the crowd was going to act because I want to prepare myself for any dumbasses…whatever--I explained it all yesterday.

Then it hit me.

Wait, I’m in Wisconsin (home of beer), on a Saturday night, in MADISON which is always home of one of the top three party schools in the US

(Congrats UofW **clap……………………………………………clap**).

The warm up band started, which was just an accordionist in front of Griffin’s band (it’s funny now that I think of it). Once the lights went out the ambiance of the place was in full effect. They have twinkling stars in the theatre ceiling that gives the venue more of a surreal feeling.

After the warm-up came about 45 boring ass minutes of…nothing. Usually this time is to prepare the instruments and the setup on stage, but….all the warm up act was, was one lone accordionist. I just figured it was going to be a good twenty minutes for a prompt start at 9pm.
Nope, more like 9:25.

Griffin’s percussionist was what stood out at first because he had a silly fresh beat (sorry I had to say it) and he wasn’t using the traditional drums. Then I was afraid that I would get this half-assed version of Griffin’s voice because some performers simply don’t care or their voice is a shredded mess after months of touring. Nah, Griffin’s voice was awesome and she was belting out some good stuff like “throw love a line” “Standing” and “When it don’t come easy”.

The crowd was great until one drunken female fanatic wouldn’t shut up in-between songs. Griffin even was a little uncomfortable by the yelling.

Then Griffin would say stuff like, “It’s really great being here in the land of beer and cheese”, which everyone starts screaming over the OBVIOUS common ground attempt. It’s interesting going to concert away from home because the artist will say something and I’ll be like, “pfff, yeah Madison… woo-fuckin-hoo”.

The show went great, but it was a little short ending at 10:40pm, which is pretty damn weak givin that she has four albums out. It’s especially weak given that she didn’t even play ‘Mary’. Then I was hoping she would stay afterwards for a meet and greet so she’d sign my cd, but no. Usually the smaller acts like a lil’ bullshittin in the lobby.

Wade in the Water / solo
No Bad News
When it Don't Come Easy
Love Throw a Line
Useless Desires
The Long Ride ? / solo
Up or Down / piano
The Kite Song / piano
Making Pies
Top of the World
Silver Bell
Tony ? / solo

Tears of a Clown
Getting Ready


Whatever, then came the ride home…. **sigh**. I didn’t realize how long four hours is until that night. Wow, there came a time where I had so much Mt. Dew in me that I was screaming for a good two minutes. Then I had an emergency trip to the restroom because that Mt. Dew was about to blow out my urethra like Mt. St. Helens.

Then about 100 miles from home I pretty much felt like a zombie. I was fully awake, not a yawn to my name, but it was like I could step outside my body and sit in the passenger seat—So I had to stop again.

I finally came through my door at 3:15pm without hitting a deer and ready for bed.
Twas a pretty good concert experience all together though.

I’ll give it a solid A-

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