Nickel Creek = still my favorite band.
The crowd last night at the Roseland = crap.lunar8i8star
and I were trying to suss out last night why audience members these days seem to think it's all right to talk through not just an opening act, but the entire concert
. Hi, college chicks with the beer three rows behind us, maybe you have $30 you're able to spend just to go somewhere noisy and have shouting conversations with your friends. I do not. This is the whole reason that BARS
exist. It seems to be a younger generation thing. I didn't notice that level of rudeness until I went to see Imogen Heap at the Crystal last winter. I was up in the balcony and couldn't even hear the opening act (who was actually pretty damn good) because of the noise. It's like talking in the movie theater. Bad form.
Anyway. Jon Brion opened last night. I'm not sure how I feel about him, to be honest. He's a multiple instrument musician, which I appreciate, and he plays a mean honky-tonk piano. Vocally and lyrically, I was not impressed. His best numbers were the ones he played with Chris Thile. They had a nice dueling banjos-dance contest thing going. The synchronized jumping was my favorite part.
Randomly, I suspect that Sean, like us, is too old for this shit. He was an extra special level of cranky last night. Usually he just stays over on his side (left side, his pov) of the stage, rocks his guitar. On the rare occasion he'll smile or make a little side comment. Mostly he keeps Sara & Chris from turning the show into some sort of stand-up vaudeville routine. Last night there was this giant orb of hostility around Sean. It culminated in a snarky comment towards the audience which created a long moment of awkwardness that Sara & Chris were only partially successful at tempering.
My favorite non-musical moment was when some guy in the balcony shouted "I LOVE YOU, SARA!" and Chris mock-glared our direction and said "Back off, man." (Sara/Chris is one my OTPs. Don't ask.)
The NC show itself. I have mixed feelings. It was pretty much the same set they used all last year (notable missing song: the cover of Toxic), so I was almost overly familiar with it. I think the highlight of the evening was Chris' new song, "If You're Going to Leave Me (Set Me Up With One of Your Friends)." Yeah, that was awesome. As was the Radiohead cover.
The real strength of any Nickel Creek show is the jam session. At least two or three of their instrumental songs always evolves into something great and often unexpected. The most notable example was the first NC show I ever attended: they played "Lighthouse's Tale" with two extra songs thrown in the middle: Wilco's "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" followed by the most amazing cover of Coldplay's "Yellow" I've ever heard. They usually do this kind of thing with "Smoothie Song," "House of Tom Bombadil" and "Scotch & Chocolate." Last night they really didn't do any song blending, at least not to the degree to which I've become accustomed. I missed it and silently mourned its absence.
The highlights of the show for me were "Ode to a Butterfly" which is the song that truly made me fall in love with that band, and "Lighthouse's Tale" which is always the most moving and intense (the last few years they've been doing an instrumental break in it that's always breathtaking). Another high point was the slightly paired down version of "House Carpenter." In an interesting twist, they played "The Fox" at the beginning of the show, and twisted the melody just enough to make it off-putting. Nicely done, folks.
The concert was long, the encore was very short, and everyone seemed tired. I think they're very ready to take a break. While they didn't go out on a bang, it was a solid Nickel Creek performance, and I wish them the best with the end of their Farewell (for now) tour.