3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

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mtruslow
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Re: 3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

Post by mtruslow »

I was mystified as to why Son Volt wasn't playing their usual stop in DC, The 930 Club. I hate the Birchmere, with a passion. The idea of sitting down and eating while a rock show is going on is just so foreign to me.

seger_and_priest
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Re: 3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

Post by seger_and_priest »

Redsun wrote:
Thu Mar 17, 2022 2:17 am
As for Johnny Horton subject, frankly, I also like Chris Frame's style much more. Horton's improvisations sometimes take songs in another direction. Maybe I'm one of those people who thinks songs should be played just like on album with all the smallest details... Of course it's a personal choice.

As we have seen recently, "Medicine Hat" and "World Waits for You" have also made a comeback... That's great!
For lack of a better word, the lead guitar playing seemed "gimmicky," which, hey, there's a lot of room for that in other contexts, but it feels really outta place with my beloved Son Volt. Son Volt has only ever had hot shit guitar players, but (until now?) they have all very conscientiously deployed their chops in service of the songs. Alright, enough outta me about that. And thank you for reminding me, "World Waits for You" was gorgeous.

Redsun
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Re: 3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

Post by Redsun »

Important observations. Thank you very much.

As for Johnny Horton subject, frankly, I also like Chris Frame's style much more. Horton's improvisations sometimes take songs in another direction. Maybe I'm one of those people who thinks songs should be played just like on album with all the smallest details... Of course it's a personal choice.

As we have seen recently, "Medicine Hat" and "World Waits for You" have also made a comeback... That's great!

Gold Rush
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Re: 3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

Post by Gold Rush »

I have to say I agree with the assessment of Horton's playing. Just no fire there in his personality or his playing. It really stands out on the more rocking songs...Sinking Down, Drown, Afterglow, Drown, etc. Chis had such a cool Mick Taylor vibe in both his presence and his playing, and I miss it.

peainthepod
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Re: 3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

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seger_and_priest
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Re: 3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

Post by seger_and_priest »

I guess I'd rather just say "not my thing," but yeah his tones and his note choices aren't my thing and his solos seemed more showy and less integrated with the whole band (think a more aloof Brad Rice.) I don't care that he didn't make eye contact with the audience so much as how he didn't seem responsive to the songs or to his bandmates. And a few of the solos reminded me of contemporary country noodles ca. 2008 or something. I don't think Son Volt is necessarily a sonic environment that responds well to use of a chorus pedal.

This is early in the tour I think, so everything could be worked out within a few days, or it could have been just an awkward night or, shucks, I might just be wrong. I rarely have that strong a response to somebody's playing - let alone a strong negative one - but of course I have a pretty strong (UNJUSTIFIED?) sense of connection with Son Volt. What is it they say on the internet, these days? Your mileage may vary.

wrecking ball operator
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Re: 3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

Post by wrecking ball operator »

Who is [No Comment]? John Horton? Why?

seger_and_priest
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3/2/2022, Birchmere, Alexandria VA

Post by seger_and_priest »

My choices here are to do some thorough, nitpick-y venting or to resist harshing anybody's mellow and simply say this:

I don't have the setlist, but saw somewhere a setlist from earlier this year in Texas: moving from the more recent records to "the hits," but with Picking Up the Signal earlier on in there. It was endearing when Spencer stood up from the keyboards to play guitar along with Jay and [No Comment]. The effect is that of a buddy movie, like the 3 Amigos. I will never understand why Marc is not the lead gtr dude, although of course he is a resourceful accompanist on steel and keys.

I enjoyed hearing Back Against the Wall, which is one of the newer classics in my opinion and encapsulates something specific to Jay. Hearts and Minds stood out, but in a good way. I daresay this is the best I've heard Duplantis' harmony vocals sound. (What a badass. He's got a total Willie vibe going with his hair, now.) Patterson can be as direct as Heidorn but has way more range, making him my pick for best Son Volt drummer. Jay's voice also sounded quite strong, effortless in spots. He had a rad looking array of (lighter weight) guitars. Also, do any of you recall Chris Frame? I hope we see and hear from him again very soon.

It was a rough-sounding room packed with seated people, many of whom were cool just, ya know, eating dinner with Son Volt playing twnety feet away. Now I know what it'd be like if Son Volt played Bennigan's!

This is pretty much the first time I have full-on preferred the "new stuff" portion of the set over the classics, the performances of which at this point are as belabored as the original versions are godlike. (It would be cool to keep Windfall and Tear-Stain Eye - until death do Jay and they part - but vary the other stuff from the olden days from tour to tour, at least.) From now on I need to remind myself that when I go to see Son Volt - never mind the name, or the shows seen before, or setlists gone by - I am basically paying to hear Jay Farrar sing, and everything else is gravy. From that frame of mind I can move past my gripes and just be grateful for the opportunity hear the man himself sing lumps into my throat.

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