Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Take this silver lining...

Some brief thoughts on last night's David Gray show at the Carlu. Yes he's a little adult contemporary, but no more so than one could say Nick Drake is adult contemporary. And I don't see anyone harping on Nick Drake. Plus, the guy recorded his first four albums on an 8-track in his bedroom. If that's not indie, I don't know what is. Anyway...

> Say what you will about Gray's pleasant blend of pop, folk and "electronic" elements, the man knows how to put on a mighty high energy show. And people absolutely worship his hyperactive drummer, Klune.

> Last night's set was comprised of a few old standards and what was likely most of the tracks on Gray's new record, Life in Slow Motion. On the whole, the new stuff was very, very solid. Far less drab than the music from his previous album, and while certainly not a grand stylistic leap for the Irish singer-songwriter, the new songs seemed to have a much fuller sound than much of his previous work. Somewhat hard to describe, but musically, the tunes just sounded more mature. Update! After having heard the new single "The One I Love" only moments ago, it must be said that while the song was thrilling in a live setting, the studio version is over-produced pap.

> The Carlu is quite an interesting venue. There's definitely something flash about having to take an elevator (complete with bellman) to get to the venue. Aesthetically, the hall creates an impression similar to, say, if Roy Thompson Hall hosted rock concerts -- plush carpeted floors, modern art on the walls, lots of wine and liquers being sold. One cannot, however, make the same comparison about the acoustics. The concert hall is rather cavernous and there are precious few design features to soften the sound coming from the stage, or, for that matter, anywhere else in the hall. Even with a full-band rock show going on, ambient noise (crowd chatter and the like) is still quite evident. Of course, an echoey room only exacerbates the problem of poor sound technicians. The mix got better toward the end of the program, but generally it was very bass-heavy (is usual with concerts nowadays, ugh), causing one to strain in order to here the various parts being played by cello, pump organ and rhythm guitar.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new songs did sound great, and I agree that they do seem more mature. The Carlu is a MAJOR step up from the ACC where we last saw him. But where was John Manley?

8/03/2005 11:12 p.m.  

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