Archive for November, 2010

Dr. Dog
The Palladium 11/11/10

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Dallas House of Blues 11/4/10
King Charles, Cadillac Sky,
and Mumford and Sons

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I will admit that I’m obsessive to the point of insanity… especially about music. And after listening to the poetic lyrics and classical instruments of Mumford and Sons, I knew they would put on an amazing show.  What I did not count on was the talent of the preceding acts to be just as grand.   

The night of the show, my friend and I arrived to the House of Blues half an hour before the 8pm show time… only to find that we would have to wait outside in the cold until they decided to open the doors.  Herded like cows to slaughter, we squished our bodies with strangers and pretended that we were not about to pee our pants.  And things didn’t improve much as we blindly followed a teeming mass of hipsters shuffling their way to the GENERAL “standing room only” area when the doors opened at 8. 

Packed again with the other sardines, I started having claustrophobia induced visions of elbows in my back, and obnoxious drunk girls slurring in my ear.  Although, I was pleased that we had center stage in our direct line of sight about 10 feet back… I can only imagine how the poor souls felt that arrived late to find their spot by the beer bucket/bathroom line.  My pissiness quickly returned as I finished my 24 oz. can o’ crap beer and there was still no sign of the opening band.

Just then, the lights lowered and a lanky Patrick Dempsey looking man carrying a white guitar, with his hair literally piled a foot on top of his head, walked on stage.  I’m not going to lie… in my head I thought, “Oh great,  a cult leader-esque narcissist to sit through before we endure another opener’s bluegrass hoedown.” 

But then he opened his mouth…

KING CHARLES

When King Charles opened his mouth… he started singing in the loudest, most pitch perfect voice I have ever heard… complete with his own brand of witty, poetic lyrics, as well as hummingbird hands strumming on his white guitar.  There was instantly a unanimous “Who the hell IS this guy?!” buzz in the audience… his magical pipes having disolved any cynics in the audience immediately as he stood on stage BY HIMSELF casting a spell on us all.

I’m a sentimental soul, and even though everything he sang was magic, when he asked if there were any Billy Joel fans in the audience I may have shed a nostalgic tear.  And those tears may have multiplied as we sang the chorus to his very own version of “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” 

***for extra credit: Check out “Love Lust”
and my favorite from the concert (although, nothing I’ve found comes close to the live performance) “Ivory Road” 

CADILLAC SKY

As our hearts still thumped for King Charles, Cadillac Sky took the stage… With enough beard to fill a Giants baseball team, these  homegrown musicians won over the audience with their friendly and comical TEXAS skit:

“You know what we love about playing in Texas?”
[crowd cheers]
“Every time we say ‘Texas’ the audience screams!”
[crowd screams]
David Mayfield leans into the mic, and evenly says, “T-e-x-a-s”
[crowd ballistically screams]
And then he leans once more and speaks slowly, “Oklahoma”
[crowd BOOOOOS, then laughs]

I wish more people listened to this type of music.  They were so very talented on their ‘old fashioned’ instruments… it felt like HOME listening to them play… like only a sentimental southern TEXAS girl could appreciate.  Not only that, but these guys are the most hospitable musicians you’ll ever see… inviting the audience to meet them after the show and grab a free download card for 3 of their tracks.  It’s not like these guys are playing the Wreck Room, you know?!  Good stuff.

MUMFORD AND SONS

The first time I heard “the Cave” by Mumford and Sons, I was blown away.  So lyrically heavy that it sucks the breath right out of your chest while you listen, even though it would take a poet or philosopher to decipher the meaning upon first examination. 

It’s empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you’ve left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again
….{continues}

Yes, it may have been three hours after we had arrived for the concert when Mumford and Sons finally took the stage… but to me, the wait was worth it.  I don’t know that I’ll ever see another show with 2 different opening bands fitting so seamlessly with the headliner.

“White Blank Page” WAS a kick in the chest, as a friend so aptly put it… and when Mumford and Sons played “Roll Away Your Stone” another wave of nostalgia hit me and sent my heart racing with excitement, adrenalin, and love… a wave that I would ride for the rest of the night and into my dreams.  I woke up singing the lyrics of poets and humming the folk-rock harmonies of Englishmen.