Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ted Leo @ AV-Aerie - 12/10/08 - Updated with link to photos

This is the third time I've seen Ted Leo live, but the first time I've seen him with no Pharmacists*.  It was kind of an interesting aesthetic, really.  I've seen singer/songwriters before.  I've even seen singer/songwriters who were part of a band play without the band (Grant Lee Phillips doing his Buffalo material, for example).  But I've never seen a singer/songwriter play something pretty close to the same arrangements he plays in the band setting without the band behind him.  

In other words, usually when guys play a solo set like this, they have an acoustic set up.  The acoustic guitar almost allows the artist to add a little of his or her own percussion to a given song.  Ted Leo basically just played lead guitar for the entire night.  Picture him playing a typical TL/Rx show, but without anyone behind him.  It was really cool to see once.  I'm not sure I'd be particularly jazzed about seeing it again (I would go, of course), and it's really made me want to listen to the studio versions of all the stuff he played.  

Speaking of the stuff he played, he sample a little from just about every album, and played a bunch of covers including songs by Lungfish, the Waco Brothers, Blondie, and set ending rendition of Bruce Springsteen's 'Dancing in the Dark'.  From his own songs, he played a bunch of stuff that was unfamiliar, but also played:
  • Timorous Me (which had some improvised handclaps)
  • Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone.
  • The High Party
  • Ballad of the Sin Eater
  • Me and Mia
  • Bleeding Powers
  • Colleen
  • Bottle of Buckie
He played for about an hour and a half, only stopping occasionally to tune and joke around with the crowd.  He was entertaining even when he wasn't playing.  

As for the venue, it was the third floor of a semi-industrial building converted for music in an industrial part of town just northwest of the United Center.  I imagine, per their website, that this was one of the "fund raising arts and cultural events whose revenue will go to local socially and/or environmentally focused initiatives in partnerships chosen on a bi-annual schedule."  It had a really high ceiling, but you wouldn't know, because the whole performance space was covered by a large parachute draped from above to make it feel much more intimate.  The house lights never went down, which almost gave it the feel of a casual evening with a friend, assuming your friends invite Thax Douglas over to read strange poems.  Even beer was cheap.  $2 bucks for a can of High Life, and that was a "suggested donation".   *UPDATE* - Photos of the night at this link.  Pretty good look at the venue.  

So a really cool show, in a very different type of setting than I'm used to.  I look forward to seeing who else they'll book there.  Enjoy some Ted. Two versions of Rude Boys to choose from, and two great live songs back to back.

*There may have been actual pharmacists in the audience.  I didn't poll everyone's occupation.

Rude Boys solo live

Rude Boys studio recording (you'll have to turn it up a bit)

Timorous Me/Walking To Do

No comments: