I went to Nashville this weekend to see the Rabbit Fur Coat anniversary mini-tour (review forthcoming). Clearly it was great, so I'll go with a Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins track as the SOW. Here's "You Are What You Love":
All Songs Considered celebrated their 16th anniversary in style with a killer concert at the 9:30 Club this month. The bill was listed as "Sharon van Etten, Dan Deacon, and very special guests." I figured there was no way that Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton would let me down.
The day of the show 9:30 Club posted on social media to make sure to be on time, as there would be a "huge surprise." At this point I figured that this was basically going to be a concert of the year contender or it was going to be a huge letdown. Because, man, were they building this up. I was starting to get worried that I'd be disappointed with the surprises. That's your very special guest? Silly me for doubting. The first surprise aritst they brought out was Glen Hansard. Glen f-ing Hansard. He broke a guitar string, borrowed an electric guitar (so we can we say that we were there when Glen went electric?), and performed one of the best covers I've seen in years, David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes." Good start to the show.
Next up was Sharon van Etten, whose music I love but whose live show has underwhelmed me in the past. I've seen enough live videos of her since I last saw her to know that he live show as improving, and this performance was top notch. She played a song off of each of her albums plus a new song. "Peace Sign" was the highlight for me. Turns out she isn't doing many shows recently because she's gone back to college to study psychology.
Kishi Bashi was the next surprise and he knocked my socks off. I've heard his music before but didn't know that it was just him, working an intricate series of violin and vocal loops to create the awesome songs. He only did three songs, but it was one of the highlights of the night that was full of potential highlights.
Laura Gibson performed the first Tiny Desk Concert and was the next surprise (all of the guests played important roles in the history of All Songs Considered -- this was a very thoughtful bill curated by Bob and Robin). I wasn't that familiar with her work, but I really liked her set.
No one seemed familiar with the next act, as they don't even have an album out yet. But Bob and Robin picked the Suffers because they didn't want to show to be all backward looking. They wanted something to signal the future of All Songs Considered as well. Bob saw them at DC9 last year, loved them, and invited them to the party. They got the longest set of the night and were the only band to perform on a bill of solo artists. They were uptempo, soulful, and their music was the perfect happy vibe for a birthday party. It was like watching a young Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.
Speaking of Sharon Jones, she was one of many artists to contribute to this video tribute that played during the show. There was also a birthday cake and a balloon drop as Dan Deacon kicked his set off.
I've been bearish on Deacon in the past, but I think I finally appreciate his music. It just took some time to grow on me. His set was great and he busted out his normal bag of tricks of dance contests and group interpretive dance (of with Robin and Bob each led a side of the club). It was joyous.
BYT interview with Bob Boilen here. BYT review and pictures here.