concert log

7.13.2011 – Cicero’s – Timbre, Josh Ehrmann

Date: 7.13.2011
Venue: Cicero’s (Delmar Loop, St. Louis)
Lineup: Timbre / Josh Ehrmann / Thomas Jefferson

Beautiful show last night at Cicero’s. I wasn’t familiar with the opening act, a guitarist called Thomas Jefferson, and he was OK. Overall I wasn’t too impressed, but I liked his first song that portrayed a healthy mix of faith and doubt, and one of his guitar riffs, and a line that went something like, “I don’t know which is harder / Falling asleep, or waking up.”

Josh Ehrmann is a friend I’ve seen countless times but still love to see every chance I get, and apparently so do many of our mutual friends. His songwriting and compositions continue to improve, and his voice continues to explore a nice range. I truly love the songs on his EP from last November, and he really needs to record a full-length with all of the songs that he has now. I don’t know how or who, but the world needs it. Josh only played last night because he is touring as one of Timbre’s musicians, but that means she got to sing the harmonies she sang on his EP – a unique experience even for those of us who have seen Josh by himself so many times.

And Timbre’s set was simply beautiful. We almost had a reason not to come last night because we had seen several times in the year or so, but her show blew her Cornerstone segments out of the water, at least for us. Partly because we got to be up close in a more intimate setting singing along with dozens of St. Louis fans and both contributing to and experiencing in the joy emanating from the players. Partly because I think the touring musicians had (quite understandably) a bit of a tighter sound than her Cornerstone ensemble did. Partly because, for the first time in several shows, I heard her play “The Wind May Be Beautiful,” which is simply a gorgeous song. The lyrics about patience and growth are so good I was literally beaming as I sang along to them, and it is still my #1 song of 2010 and probably this entire decade thus far. The new song (“Singing and Singing”) shows she can still write wonderful harp riffs. “Fireflies” sounds more like fireflies every time I heart it, and “Dawn Awake” was the most enjoyable I’ve ever heard it.

As a quick bonus, Timbre mentioned to a group of us before the show that she felt like God had “redeemed” touring for her on this trip, because she had been getting burnt out but the guys with her this time were being so encouraging to each other and telling each other things they liked about them and just creating such a positive community-like environment. Josh also told us about a kid that got saved and apparently baptized at their show the previous night. Fun stuff. I’m glad for every opportunity to share life with these beautiful people.

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concert log, music

7.9.11 – Matisyahu

Date: 7.9.2011
Venue: The Pageant (Delmar Loop, St. Louis)
Lineup: Matisyahu / Murder City Players

A couple years ago, my girlfriend and I went to The Pageant to purchase tickets for The Swell Season. There were a bunch of people in line for a show that night for this guy named Matisyahu. Fast forward to summer 2011. We are now married and also big fans of this Jewish reggae beatboxing rapper. The opening act that night was Murder City Players, a reggae almost-ska group of almost a dozen musicians that seemed like a local band (their name sounds like a reference to St. Louis’s crime reputation). There were two vocalist/emcee’s and also a trumpeter, trombonist, and saxophonist. They had a really good groove and sound.

There was a ridiculous 40 minute wait after they finished, but I guess Matisyahu made up for that by playing for almost two hours. When he first came on stage, he looked older than we were expecting, with a lot of gray hair on his head and beard. Once he took off the sunglasses and outer jacket, though, and got into his groove, he seemed a little younger. He was also wearing a yarmulke. The setlist included a good variety of songs from different albums, and many of them were the ones featured on his latest Live At Stubb’s Vol. II and arranged the same way. The guitarist and bassist had synthesizers next to them and would occasionally plunk on those, experimenting with dubstep and other electronic sounds. Matisyahu did a little of his famous beatboxing that even wandered into dubstep.

At one point (pretty sure it was on “Jerusalem”), Matisyahu motioned for someone at the front of the audience to come up on stage, and he nodded to the security guard that it was OK. It was a cute little Jewish boy with a yarmulke, and he was probably seven or eight. He danced contentedly at the edge of the stage to the cheers of the crowd until Matisyahu convinced him to come to the middle of the stage where he threw him into the crowd. After some impromptu crowd surfing, the boy got back on stage with a worried look on his face, as he put a hand on his head and mouthed, “My yarmulke!” I’m not really sure about the Jewish religious significance of wearing it at all times, but the boy was pretty concerned. Matisyahu wasn’t. He smiled and put a towel from the stage over the boy’s head until the crowd found the yarmulke and got it back onstage and onto the boy’s head.

I didn’t hear some of my personal favorites from Light, like “For You” or “On Nature,” or “Unique Is My Dove” from Youth, but I did hear “I Will Be Light,” (with great crowd participation on the wo-lo-lo lo-lo-lo) and of course, “One Day.” All in all it was a great concert and a wonderful opportunity for knocking Matisyahu off my Top 10 Artists Never Seen Live List.

concert log, music

7.7.11 – From Indian Lakes

Date: 7.7.11
Venue: Chuck’s Basement (Hazelwood, MO)
Lineup: From Indian Lakes, Bears And Company, Sing Me A Fiction, 19 Action News

I first head of <b>From Indian Lakes</b> when my friend Chuck posted a link to listen to their song “Our Father Is Missing” after having booked them in his basement for Weirdo Beardo Productions. I liked their lyrics and sound, which reminded me a bit of My Epic, delving into that emotional post-whatever kind of sound that plays with both intensity and restraint. On this night, they sounded good, and for a new band from California that I had never heard of a month earlier, I was surprised by how many local fans came out, singing along to every song and everything. I bought their album, and hopefully you will be hearing more about them as time goes on.