Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Concert Review: Josh Rouse

So what's up Hops fans? Since we last spoke I attended a Josh Rouse show at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. It was my first trip to the venue, though I used to play soccer around the corner from it all the time. I met up there with my pal Kate and her two co-workers. We were joking before the show that this is the 3rd Josh Rouse show we've seen together - in 3 states (NJ, MD and now VA). I've also seen him in Missouri and DC (twice). So I'm a fan. I'd say the show overall was average. The band was a bit smaller than previous tours with only his usual drummer and the great base player Hags (show in background of photo - looking like Jack Osbourne and Poindexter from Revenge of the Nerd's love child). They really missed the rest of the band including Pat Sansome (now with Wilco and Autumn Defense) and especially Kurt Perkins who always seemed to be Josh's right hand man. I think the stripped down band made it less of a rocking show and more of a singer songwriter vibe. That would have been great except for a really annoying drunk guy in front of me who would yell out requests every two seconds and make out with his girlfriend. He yelled "I’m getting laid on account of you Joshy" which gave me the image of him and his girl having sex and I got a bit sick. Totally unnecessary and annoying. The other part of the show that annoyed me was that his girlfriend, Paz, came out for the encore (for her 2nd live show ever). While I liked her on the song she sings, I've already posted about the girlfriend issue I have with this (see album review post). Anyway here is the set list:
It Looks like Love/ Under Your Charms/ Givin' It Up/ His Majesty Rides/ Quiet Town/ My Love Has Gone/ Winter In The Hamptons/ 1972/ Comeback/ Wonderful/ James/ Oh I Need All of The Love/ Dressed Up Like Nebraska/ Direction/ Late Night Conversation
ENCORE: Jersey Clowns/ Streetlights/ The Man Who( with girlfriend Paz Suay) / It's The Nighttime

The opener was Strays Don't Sleep. At first there were literally no people anywhere on the dance floor. A few brave people started creeping up, including our crew and it was well worth it. They are fronted by one of my favorites -Matthew Ryan - and are a new project of his. One nteresting note is that Josh sang backup vocals on his song "I hear a symphony" a few years back on his outstanding album EastAutumnGrin. So it was all in the family at this show. For their closer "Cars and history" Matthew Ryan came onto the floor and sung in the crowd (if 10 people makes a crowd). In a better world it would have been a concert moment of a lifetime for those there. I really enjoyed it, its an awesome song and I’m really digging the band. Listen to some songs and see the Cars and History video here: http://myspace.com/straysdontsleep

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