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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amy Ray: the Metro, Chicago, Wednesday 10/29/08 with Arizona

She played them all. Yep, that's all you really need to know from this hoarse, exhausted, #1 fan of Amy Ray. It's over 24 hours since the show and I'm just now getting my voice back, just now feeling like I can walk around the block with my dogs at a normal pace. Damn, going to gigs in your 40s really sucks! Amy is a month older than this old Tart and she sure didn't show it last night. Her set list was long, her band was loud and hot and well tuned and even the new guy on bass who was so very obviously out of place (he had sheet music and they kept him in the way back, he was that new!) sounded very good. Amy worked her magic in that magical venue, the Metro. I've never been so close to her, a mere 25 feet from one of my favorite singer/songwriters, I swear she smiled right at me once. I swooned. We all did.

Her music is a rocking twist on folk-indie-pop with just enough roots in early punk to keep it edgy and fresh. The songs off her new album Didn't It Feel Kinder made her both dance and cry for us last night, they're so close to the surface of her emotions, so raw yet and new. She wowed us with extended versions of "Give In" and "Put It Out For Good." She flew to the ceiling in pure delight with our appreciation when we cheered and sang along to her new songs, "Cold Shoulder," "Bus Bus," and "Stand and Deliver."

Her voice was in great shape, she hit those high notes just the way I knew she would, in a way that made you go a little weak in the knees. It's not her usual range and you can tell, but you don't mind and neither does she. It's good to stretch a bit, and I noticed she did so again when she was improvising on the end of another song. When she's usually taking the low end of the scale with Emily in the Indigo Girls shows, on stage alone she's free to wander where she wants. And as always, the guitar work is beautiful, intricate at times, heavy handed and hard at others. One of the best things about Amy Ray is the versatility of her playing, of her talent. Her first encore was, of all things, "Johnny Rottentale" played on mandolin at an incredible speed.

I'm shaking my head in disbelief still at the whole experience of it. She said very little between songs, the lyrics say it all. And we all knew them, we all sang them for her, with her. When Amy gives it away in a gig, you take it home with you for days and days afterward. Here are some tracks previously posted here and here. I've reviewed her new album already, I'll not give any more out, go buy her stuff, you should support this artist who supports so many good things that are important to the idea of a better world,... oh and she rocks too.

Amy Ray's label, Daemon Records, buy her stuff here and support her other artists

I'm gonna save Arizona for a whole post of their own. Needless to say they were amazing, and I'm kicking myself for missing the first few songs of their show.
Their MySpace page.


meatpocket said...

thanks for taking me with you, you sexy tart... mmmmwwwwwwwaahhhh :)

meatpocket said...

er, sorry, i shoulda said something about the show, right? the show was fuckin' A W E S O M E, amy really rocked so hard! she is just a goddess in human form...

but i was even more happy about getting the chance to dance with my beautiful wifey all night. :) xoxox

meatpocket, again said...

ok, but what is wrong with lesbians? why is it that the only place i can go to dance all sexy, and feel pretty sure that no one is salivating over me, is a concert full of lesbians? how wrong is that?

JC said...

just wait till you get old m'dear - tyhen you can dance anywhere you like and your biggest worry will be whether the kids are laughing at you.

The salivating days dont last too long....

PS : Neither of you happens to called Bernice?? I only ask as it was the spooky word verification.....