Wednesday, September 28, 2005

It's no XO London post, but here goes...

M. Ward, gravelly-voiced genius

My new boyfriends, The Shins. I'm fighting with Pam for the guy on the far left.

Pam and I went to Merriweather Post Pavilion last night for the M. Ward/The Shins/White Stripes show. Personally, I was there for the first two and could have left without seeing the WS, but we stayed for the whole thing and it was a great night. Perfect fall weather--upper 50s and clear. We got there early enough to be at the very front of the lawn and rocked some old W&M stadium seats that I have. We also rocked 2 24-oz. Stella Artois each, but that is neither here nor there. NPR featured the whole show as part of it's All Songs Considered and you can hear all the sets here.

I'd never been to MPP before, and while it's no Wolftrap, it was still a great venue. M. Ward was first, and very bare-bones in his set. Just him, a killer girl drummer (whom Meg White could learn a thing or two from) and a bassist. He played 5 songs and owned every one of them. I am now on a mission to buy his entire oeuvre to date. I was familiar with his stuff (most notably and ad nauseum O'Brien) but the guy is phenomenal on the guitar and his voice just sort of finds a place in your spine and stays there.

The Shins were, no shit, the best thing I've seen in a long time. First, and very cool, is that their lead singer is NOT the guy who does all the front interacting with the crowd. That honor goes to Pam's and my BF who dropped choice phrases like "We're gonna deliver your rock by the thick slice." I have both of their albums and while I've enjoyed them, didn't come to full-on lerv them until last night. They are lively, engaged, un-selfconcious guys who played the hell out of every song and infused them with so much more energy than you get from the CDs--I hope they put out a live disc soon. They played at an instant where the sunset and beer buzz combined for a perfect September moment.

I think the best evidence of how killer both of the acts were is that M. and the Shins both broke guitar strings inside of 2 songs. Rockin' OUT.

After that the White Stripes paled in comparison for me. The music was decent, and far more hard rocking than it comes across as in their albums. Meg essentially plays the same drum beats for every song, and Jack just musical geniuses her through the rest of it. Guy is seriously talented, but pale and skeevy and sweaty and just so FUCKING ODD. I really don't know how Loretta Lynn got mixed up with him (don't get me wrong, their results were spot-on, but on the surface he just grosses me waaaay out).

All-in-all a GREAT show. So glad I rallied, drove the hour (each way) and had that night.


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