Monday, July 11, 2011

Recording: Bill Callahan - Live at Brighton Music Hall - 7-10-11



Bill Callahan Live @ Brighton Music Hall - 7-10-11

Wow! This show was pretty incredible. I’ve really gotten into Smog/Bill Callahan over the last year so I was quite excited with high expectations. However this show totally blew me away! It was such an emotionally affecting performance, and I felt emotionally exhausted after many of the songs. Bill is just such a talented musician and his music in a live environment is really powerful. Electric guitarist Matt Kinsey and drummer Neal Morgan were also big factors for the strength of the performance. Both are immensely talented and can bring some pretty moving and unconventionally beautiful sounds out of their instruments. I was taken aback by Neal in particular, though as Joanna Newsom’s drummer I had seen him live several times before. Still this setting allowed him to get a bit noisier at points, which ways always really engrossing to both watch and experience. I recorded this show on my pocket recorder though unfortunately the battery died during “The Well,” the first song of the encore. I regret not checking on the recorder during the pre-encore break. Thus “Too Many Birds” and “Blood Red Bird” were not captured. However I found the actual set to be the highlight, and I would have gone home more than satisfied after “In the Pines.” Highlights of the night for me included an incredible (way better than the album) rendition of “Our Anniversary” and an epic 18 minute version of “Let Me See the Colts.” Even songs I’m more lukewarm towards like “America!” translated wonderfully live. One of the best shows I’ve seen this year!

1. Riding for the Feeling
2. Baby’s Breath
3. Eid Ma Clack Shaw
4. University Applicant
5. America!
6. Our Anniversary
7. Drover
8. Let Me See the Colts/Say Valley Maker
9. In the Pines
10. Encore break
11. The Well (incomplete)