Sunday, October 2, 2011

The most fun live music show I've seen so far this year

Last night, I was at the Cat's Cradle for what proved to be the most fun live music show I've caught so far this year. Given all the great bands I've had the privilege to see, a list that includes Mumford & Sons, Josh Ritter, and The Hold Steady, that's saying a lot, but it's true.

What's sad is that the house was never even half full.

The opening act was someone I didn't know: Jon McLaughlin and his band. As soon as they finished their set, I bought both of their CDs that were available at the merch table.

He sang some sweet, folky songs, like this one. (He and his band are indeed from Indiana.)

Near the end of the set, he called up the main band, and they joined him onstage for a rousing version of this fun number. (Sorry about the dead space after the music stops, but this was the best example I could find.)

I've never heard of McLaughlin before, but now I feel privileged to have gotten the chance to see him live.

After the set change, the headliners took the stage: Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. Frequent readers will know that I love these guys' music, but I've never seen them live.

I'm so glad I had that chance. Their love of performing and of music was palpable. For ninety minutes the audience and the band united in that love with a power and a joy that is sheer magic on those rare moments when it happens.

They played some new songs from their upcoming Gift Horse album, and they played a lot of old favorites. They came into the audience, climbed on milk crates, and did an acoustic version of "Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts," which I've linked to before but which you can never hear too many times.

They played the single, "Gravity," from the new album.

They also played this song.

We all have the times this song discusses, those moments when you question your own self worth, when you wonder if anyone loves you, if there's any point in going on. If you're in one of those periods now, give this one a listen, and remember that there is always someone who sees you differently, sees a better you than you can see, and that person is often right.


Ticia said...

So fun. Thanks for sharing the links!

Mark said...

You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Michelle said...

A great blog for a Monday! I love that band and hope they come to my area soon. Thanks for sharing.


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