About a week and a half ago, I went and saw David Gray. I had heard of DG before, and remember him breaking with Babylon, and over the years have heard a couple of other songs I liked but that was about it. I really did not follow him to know he had 8 albums released now. That’s a bit Ryan Adamsian IMO. Right? How many singer-songwriters release that many albums in a decade? Anyway, the show was at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in NOLA, a theatre they made a big deal about renovating and re-opening last year.
The plan involved dinner and since it was a Friday during Lent which sent us in search of seafood, we ended up at Sun Ray Grill. That place was awesome, I would definitely eat there again. I got the fish tacos, but the highlight was the appetizers we got that were these Sailfish Tostadas. DELICIOUS! The lighting could have been better though, because it seemed dark. The food was great though, which is the main thing.
We made it to DG in the middle of the opener. I’m at the point where I’ll get to a show late to save myself the time and miss an opener. I don’t really know Phosphorescent, and after seeing them, I don’t really want to get to know them any better. The singer actually referred to the band in 3rd person during a couple of songs, which was strange. There were also song names that were too long. Just because I like Wilco doesn’t mean I don’t think “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” is not an awkward song title. For an opener to intro a song with a long title, by the time they get to the end of it, I don’t care anymore. Opening band elitism!
We were sitting up near the top of the balcony (trying to save money considering there were other shows to pay for). I noticed pretty early on that the renovations of the theatre apparently did not include the ceiling up at the top of the balcony. Around each of the A/C vents (those big circle ones) were huge water stains. Really? Yes, really. I did not take a picture, but will be going back next week for Wicked, so I might get one then. The seats were not that bad in the end, the sound was fantastic from there.
DG came out and I was just mesmerized. I do not remember the titles of many of the songs, but I just was taken by the intensity and passion of each song. I have since gotten the latest album, and he led off with Fugitive (I’m almost certain). It was great. The lights he had going were also amazing. The song Nemesis (the one ‘new’ song that I was not going to forget the name of) was incredible. I could not get over how intense the song was, then when the lights had a light going on the mirror ball with light shooting out to every part of the theatre, and the spotlight was only on him as he sang. Incredible. Incredible. I almost did not want the song to end. I had brought my new camera, and tried to get a picture of that moment but it did not come out very well, DG’s head looks like a jack-o-lantern. Trust me when I tell you it was one of the most amazing concert moments I have ever seen. There was also a song where the intro and outro were just him with a hauntingly played harmonica, but I have not figured out what song that was yet. It was also very good.
The whole show was great. I did not expect to like it that much. I had no idea. I told friends afterward that DG may fill the Ryan Adams shaped hole in my music pantheon. He went from acoustic and electric guitar, to piano and back multiple times. Sound familiar? Plus I dig the way he talks, I mean, he’s from England after all. I wonder if he’s a United or City fan.