Off Beat Music Guide

Concert Review: David Gray July 6, 2011

Filed under: Concerting,Music — bethstephenson84 @ 12:06 pm
Tags: , ,

Where: Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, NC

When: July 2, 2011

During the almost three years I have spent blogging about music, I have always thought that I had what it takes to be somewhat unbiased in my concert reviews. I mean, I clearly like the bands I see, but I’d like to think I have a clarity that allows me to see if a band is really legit or just smoke and mirrors in their live set.

Unfortunately, after seeing David Gray this past Saturday, I am not quite so certain I have it in me anymore.

In thinking about this show, swooning is the only thing that comes to mind. I can tell you that the venue was different than what I was used to; it was in a concert hall instead of the beer bottle flanked, graffiti filled bar of my usual shows, and people sat down the majority of the set instead of shoving in to get closer to the band. But other than that, I didn’t note much more about the event. I sort of moved into my own little world of awe shortly after the opening number.

I went to this show with 3 friends, Jill, Kate and Mark and while all of us girls were in a dreamy haze post concert, all my friend Mark could say was “I liked it but I didn’t love it.”  Then I remembered all of the men sitting around us, impatiently shifting in their seats. I even overheard one guy saying “He better pick it up or I am going to fall asleep.” This was so strange to me because I could have lived in that hour and a half forever.

So I am admitting it; I am such a girl. Sing me a sweet love song in a British accent and I lose all sense of reason. There, now that is out of the way and we have established that this is a completely biased review by a woman who lets her emotions get the best of her, we can proceed. Just know that this review could be complete hooey.

Because he writes primarily about love, it came as no surprise that Mr. Gray did a wonderful job capturing that feeling in his show.  It was warm and vibrant. Funny and sweet. And most of all, it was beautiful.

I loved the lamp-lit stage and how dashing all of the band members looked in their suits. (That probably accounted for a good bit of the swooning.)

He played 21 songs that spanned his almost 20 year career. There were the obvious crowd favorites like “Babylon” and “The One I Love,” but I was most taken with “Kathleen” and his 10-minute version of “Nemesis.” You could tell that he liked playing all of his songs, even the ones he’s played hundreds of times, but it was evident that he loved playing “Nemesis.”

“I wish all (songs) were like that one,” Gray said. “I can’t put a price on the dawning.”

And that’s all you can ask for in a singer/songwriter: to have a passion that is so palpable that their love of a song alone sells you on its merits. And for David Gray, it worked. “Nemesis,” which I only liked before the show has turned into my favorite of his songs.

And I must mention my disappointment that he didn’t play my absolute favorite of his songs, “Shine” (It’s one of my Top 10 favorite songs of all time), but it was a long shot and ultimately it didn’t take away from the concert.

Setlist:

Forgetting

Only the Wine

Draw the Line

My Oh My

The One I Love

A New Day at Midnight

Sea

Kathleen

Fugitive

Flame Turns Blue

Nemesis

Forgetting

Twilight

Morning of My Live (BeeGees cover)
Living Room

Lately

Ain’t No Love

White Ladder

Alibi

Babylon

Sail Away

Here are some videos from the show. I’ve had some serious problems trying to upload “Nemesis” because it is so long, but I have all of the other videos on my YouTube channel if you’d like to check them out.  www.youtube.com/CharlotteBeth84

Kathleen

Flame Turns Blue

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New Music Tuesday September 22, 2009

Filed under: Music,Music News,New Music Tuesday,New Release — bethstephenson84 @ 6:43 pm
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I must say up front that I have not listened to either of these albums in their entirety, but I have been anxiously awaiting them both for months!

MOF Monsters of Folk- Monsters of Folk

When these guys first got together for some gigs, people were blown away by the folk awesomeness. And when they announced that they were going to release an album, people went into folk overload.  Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis (both of Bright Eyes fame) teamed up with M. Ward (She & Him) and Yim Yames (a.k.a. “Jim James” of My Morning Jacket) for some gigs under their own names, but after a few shows, their already large following dubbed them the Monsters of Folk, a name that as you can see stuck with the super group.

I purchase MOF’s EP a couple of months ago (mostly because of my love of M. Ward) and it was worth probably 100 times what I paid for it. The three songs from the EP are all on the self titled album released today, of which my favorite is “Dear God (Sincerely MOF)” because of its smooth, hip hop feel. You better believe that I will be devouring this album as soon as I get home today.

Check out their new video for “The Right Place” here:

davidgraydrawtheline David Gray-Draw The Line

I have been a loyal DG fan since my high school days. I can kind of chart my life (thus far) by David Gray albums, and when I play those albums now I am immediately transported back to a certain time in my life. His music, which ranges from slow and melancholy to pop and electronic, is diverse, beautiful and often odd but I have always found it irresistible…which leads me to his new album, Draw the Line. I tend to have this problem with a lot of artists I have had long-term relationships with: the problem being that I like their albums, even if they are mediocre, because of either nostalgia or loyalty.  I’m going to try desperately to be more discerning with Gray’s new album, but I must say that from the bits that I have heard, it sounds promising.