Saturday, May 28, 2005

Great American Barbecue, May 27, 2005, The Elders, May Libby, and The Kelihans

(Posted on the Elders message board)

It was good. :)

I enjoyed all 3 bands. An even better line up than the REO / Styx / Journey tour. :)

I'm not sure how much there really is to report. It was an Elders show. Oh yeah, and a Kelihans show. And a Mad Libby show. And Buzzz did sound for all 3. Long evening for Buzzz. :)

I've seen Mad Libby once before. I liked them then, and I liked them again. I did notice and appreciate Doug Sparling's guitar playing. Doug, if your reading this, I liked your guitar playing. :) By the way, there's a link to the Elders in the link section of the Mad Libby website, under "related bands". It notes: "Doug works regularly with these guys, and Pat's played with most of them."

Anyway, great show from Mad Libby. I was most looking forward to them. Not because they are better than the Elders, but because I've seen the Elders lots of times, but I'd only seen Mad Libby once previously, and that was many months ago.

The Elders were the Elders. :) Another great Elders show. :) What stood out to me from last night was Norm's bass playing on "Saint Kevin". Very nice bass part on that song. It interesting... I knew it well enough to anticipate some of the nicer points, and yet, I hadn't ever consciously noted it.

Let's see... Favorite song for Steve's guitar, "Fire in the Hole". For Ian's singing "Send a Prayer". For Brent's fiddle playing, "Brettski's Medley" (particularly the latter part of it). In general, not just last night. Though last night too. :)

Norm didn't have either of his usual basses. And it was really weird seeing him play a different bass. Okay, he played the same bass Wednesday, but it was still weird. (It's a borrowed bass, not a new bass.) And Steve had a different guitar that I didn't recognize, in addition to the two he usually plays. I've no clue if it's a new guitar, and old guitar that he hasn't habitually used, or someone else's, or what. I thought it was a kinda cool looking guitar though. :)

If you want to see pictures view the photo album. For the Elders I was standing by the Steve and Norm side of the stage, and wasn't in enough of a camera bug mood to wander over to the other side for picture taking much, so there's much more of Norm, Steve, and Ian than of Brent and Brett. But I had darn good luck with the ones I took of them. Especially Brett. Brett's hair is a little wind tossled. :) (Norm and Ian have quite short hair, and Steve and Brent had hats.) Tommy get's left out as he often does. Hard to get good drummer pictures. Heck I had trouble enough with Bill (Kelihans) and Pat (Mad Libby) even though the lighting was good (daylight), because the drum kit gets in the way. The no stage venues are definitely best for drummer pictures, as far as angle, plus one tends to be able to get up close.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bob Walkenhorst, May 25, 2005

(Posted at the Rainmakers message board.)

They started off with a Dylan tune, "Blowing In the Wind". And Bob said, afterwards, Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan. (Dylan's birthday is May 24th, so it was Tuesday. And now I will forever remember that Dylan's birthday is 8 days before Bob Walkenhorst's birthday. Yes, Bob's birthday is next week, on Wednesday.)

They did "Thinking of You" again, and again with Bob on bongos. Then Bob moved to the regular drums and they did "A Little Bit of White Trash in Us All". I like watching Bob play drums. :) Jeff got to sing a 3rd song later in the show when they did "Paradise". (Or is it obligatory to call it "John Prine's 'Paradise'"?)

3rd to last song was "Let My People Go-Go". 2nd to last was "Hoo Dee Hoo". One of my least favorite songs of Bob's. Not that it's not a good song. But, thinking it might be the last song, I was disappointed it wasn't something I like better. But they did play one more. "Information". That song, I like it, but sometimes it just doesn't move me to dance. Last night, though, it did. I had a good time dancing to it.

It wasn't as good as the previous two shows -- last week and the weekend show the weekend before last. It was a good show. But a little more closer to earth. (Added later: Or maybe I was distracted by picture taking?)

Oh yeah, they did "Battle Of New Orleans" again, by request if I recall correctly, and Bob's British roommate was there, but Bob didn't think about this till after they sang it (or at least after they started singing it).

I really enjoyed Norm's bass playing. I also noticed he had a different bass. Okay, I didn't really think it through that far. I just noticed it looked wrong. :) Plain white pick guard on black bass. That just wasn't right. (Norm has two basses, a plain black one, and a silver one with a pearly white pick guard.)

Well, it was revealed that it's Bob's bass. Why Norm was playing Bob's bass instead of one of his own I don't know. If that was said, I missed it. :) Bob commented "It sounds better when Norm plays it". I can't argue with that. :) Ah, there's some good bass playing on The Beginner, but, still, Bob ain't Norm. :)

So, Bob says he has 3 guitars. A bass, an electric, and an acoustic. Norm corrects him and says no, he has 4. And gives some sort of description. Bob says oh yeah, and says the (I think it was an abbreviation for telecaster) is broke. Norm goes, "That's 5". I think it's funny that Norm was telling Bob what guitars Bob has. I believe Bob did acknowledge 5 to be correct. So, let's see, bass, broken telecaster, black guitar that's on the The Beginner cover and which he used to play at shows in 2003 and early 2004, white guitar similar to guitar on the The Beginner cover (this one he played at one show and no one had a camera that day), and the acoustic he always plays these days. That makes 5, I believe. If I erred somewhere, someone correct me.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bob Walkenhorst, 14 May 2005

(Posted at the Rainmakers Message Board.)

Awesome show last night. :) Or, the last hour and 20 minutes anyway. I can't vouch for the first hour and 40 minutes but I'm sure it was good too.

They started at 9:20 (after John Northern's set, of course), or 9:30 by the Molloy's clock, I'm told. And I heard from 3 different people that they played 3 hours, so it must be so. Anyway, I got there at 11 pm, and was expecting them to end at Midnight, and they didn't. Which was good, because an hour just ain't enough. On the other hand, after so many Wednesday shows where I was late, an hour and 20 minutes seems just right. Though, had I gotten there earlier, I think I could have suffered through more. ;)

I went to see the Elders. A terrible choice to have to make (Bob 4 piece vs. the Elders). The Elders were good. As always. And they did a new song they'd never played before. Seven Nations played before them and were fairly enjoyable. And an awesome drum solo. Yes, there actually is such a thing. :)

Some of them came to Molloy's afterwards and caught some of the Bob show. Ian Byrne, Brent Hoad, and Tommy Sutherland, plus crew persons Buzzz and John Phillips (Steve's brother, who recently joined the Elders crew) and merchandize lady Devota.

So, I go from one show with a lead singer who plays drums, to another show with a lead singer who plays drums, and the lead singer and the drummer from the first show show up at the 2nd. :) Which by my count made 4 1/2 drummers (Jeff gets a half) in one room. Scary. ;)

I had spotted John Phillips, but I didn't know any of the rest were there till they were about to do "Jan Vermeer" and Bob goes, "Buzzz, I wish you were here with sound effects" and Buzzz waved from behind the pool table.

Bob and them were on fire last night. Okay, I'm never sure if it's a particularly good show, or if it was just me, but comments I heard from others suggest it wasn't just me. I was really appreciating Pat and Jeff, especially. I love hearing Pat on drums. He's a damn good drum player. And I was really liking Jeff's guitar playing last night. I do quite like hearing him on electric guitar. I even stopped dancing a few times just to watch.

I was also reminded just how much I like dancing at Bob's shows, how good, and how homey, it feels. I enjoyed the Elders show. I really did. And I was dancing, enjoying the music, responding to the music. But dancing at Bob's show after the Elders show was different. Like, Bob's music touches something in me that the Elders music doesn't.

I left the Elders show slightly early, during the last song. I don't much like "10 lb Earhole". Not enough to stay and hear it rather than hearing one more Bob song. I ran part of the way to Molloy's. Just 'cause I felt like it. :) Got there, went to use the restroom as Bob and Jeff were playing "The Beginner" while Gary and Pat took a break (Gary was right by the door and I saw him before I'd taken in that it was just Bob and Jeff right then), and then I hit the dance floor just as they were starting "Chimes of Freedom". For some reason, "Thunder Road" on Wednesday was reminding me of that song. It was nice to hear it and I'm glad I got there in time for it.

Okay, I think that covers it. :)

Awesome, awesome show.

Oh, oh yeah, a note on the stage set up. Instead of Bob being straight in front of Pat, Bob and Jeff were shifted a little toward Gary. This was nice because then no one was right in front of Pat, plus also Jeff wasn't back in the corner.

Bob, thanks for playing my request. :)

Edited to add: Another added thought. I came from one favorite band where the sound was not real good (don't blame Buzzz -- the problem was I was way up front and couldn't hear at all from the main speakers) but I thought they were great anyway, to another favorite band where the sound was quite good (it seems to me Molloy's has good sound). I think that contrast added to really thoroughly enjoying Bob. Because I really did quite enjoy the Elders. Great show. I was up. To go from that to a band every bit as good, every bit as liked by me, and better sound, well, makes it pretty easy to have a darn good time.

Another contrast. It's interesting to go from Steve Phillips in the Elders playing guitar parts I've heard a zillion times (exaggeration, but I've been to quite a lot of Elders shows), to Jeff Porter playing something different from that which I've gotten used to (playing electric). I think my appreciation for Jeff's playing last night was higher simply because it was new and different and I really noticed it.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Elders, May 4th, Gaslight Tavern, Lawrence, KS

(posted at the Elders message board, except with pictures also posted there)

Good show. :)

Outdoors. A small patio area outside an even smaller bar. And the crowd there before the show was pretty darn small. The setting and the crowd size made it feel like a private party in someone's back yard. The crowd grew as the evening went on. Not to the point of over crowded no room to stand, though.

It was odd for me seeing the Elders on a Wednesday. I'm used to seeing Norm playing with Bob Walkenhorst on Wednesdays. Like, right bass player, wrong band. That's okay, because Norm's awesome bass playing just reminded me of what I wasn't issing out on this particular Wednesday by playing hooky from Molloy's and seeing the Elders instead. :)

At one point, noises from outside the venue inspired Ian to start singing lines from a song, one I didn't know. The band evidently did know it, though, because they all joined in. And sounded real good. Although, Ian didn't seem to know many more words beyond what he first sang. Steve did a little singing on the song. The intruding sound that Ian, and then the band, were responding to, when I heard it I thought it was a truck or something, but I think Ian was singing about a train, so maybe I was wrong. Anyway, it was fun, and different, and some damn good music.

For the encore, they asked what we wanted to hear and played one of the suggestions (there were 3 that I recall), "Buzzz's Jigg". (Yes, unbelievably enough, they hadn't played that one.) As Steve put his guitar away and got the mandolin, Ian says "Steve had to change tools". While Steve was tuning, Ian commented, and said something along the lines of "just play, you don't need to be a perfectionist".