Thursday, March 17, 2011

Skip Serpico's Concert Adventures - Pete Yorn @ Ram's Head Live 3/15/11

I've been a fan of Pete Yorn for a few years now, so when I heard he was on tour, I was pretty excited that I'd have the opportunity to see him perform live.  I was especially pumped because Ben Kweller was going to be supporting him.

Now when I'd originally seen they were hitting the road, I thought I was going to have to see them at DC's 9:30 Club.  I wasn't too enthused to have to go down there to, so you can imagine how relieved I was when the Ram's Head Live show was announced.

I got to Ram's Head Live about twenty minutes before the 8pm start time and it was deadsville. I actually gave Jay1 a call because there was nothing going on.

But then The Wellspring took the stage (and at 7:58, two minutes early.)  They are a charming male/female two-piece backed by a drummer.  Talia Osteen and Dov Rosenblatt's harmonies were actually quite beautiful and they impressed me enough that I went right over to the merch booth and copped their EP and a shirt.

While I've been picking up Pete Yorn's albums as they've been released, it wasn't until this year that I got into Ben Kweller.  I'd heard his stuff before and read plenty about him, but I just decided to make the leap into his stuff in 2010.  And I'm glad I did.

Kweller comes out and it's just him, strumming his guitar.  That's it.  No drummer, no backing band, no accompaniment.  Just him and his acoustic guitar.  And he killed it!

The dude is a talented guitar player.  He was switching up styles and riffing.  He was also rather personable and downright jovial.  He made jokes, took requests and really held the stage on his own.  He even switched to a piano and told a story or two.  As cool as it was, I'd like to see what he'd do as a headliner.

After Kweller did his thing, there was a minor lull while the stage was prepared for Pete Yorn.  Things got a bit more cramped as people prepared for the main event.

Yorn took the stage with his three band members (Zak Shaffer on bass, Scott Seiver on drums and Mark Noseworthy on lead guitar) and banged it out.  Behind them was a screen that had images projected on them for their entire set.

The set was heavy on songs from Yorn's debut and his most recent self titled offering.  Back and Fourth came up short, having only one song played with Nightcrawler following closely with only two songs appearing, including "The Man" before which Yorn told a tale of how a trip to Maryland altered the course of his life.

The performance came off as sort of reserved.  There weren't really any rock star moments or antics.  I will say that Seiver went insane on his drum set during "For Us" and it was dope to see and hear.  I myself was surprised when Yorn slowed things down with "All At Once" and "On Your Side," two personal favorites of mine.

All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable show and a memorable night. If you get a chance to check them out on this tour, you could definitely spend a night doing something worse.

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