Saturday, October 22, 2005

Son Volt: 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C. - Oct. 21

Jay Farrar and Son Volt performing at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
Photos by Joel Didriksen for

Channeling Woodie Guthrie last night, Jay Farrar and Son Volt put on great show and really glad to have been right there.

Jay was his normally low key self and said all he had to say in the music. Lots of songs from the new "Okemah and the Melody of Riot". Great crowd. Very few shouted song requests (and didn't hear a single "Uncle Tupelo-o-o-o-o!!!")

Highlights include "Joe Citizen Blues". And "Chickamunga" got the crowd hoppin'.

NPR's webcast of Son Volt concert at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club last night is now up and streaming. Excellent show at one of the best live music venues anywhere. Check out listener supported radio.

Also, see photo galleries on NPR and Joel Didriksen for Nice shots.

Fruit Bats from the "other" Washington (Seattle) were a good opening band. Never heard of them before. Kinda of a Weezer/early-Beck hybrid. Maybe?

Anyways, a long day. Son Volt didn't come on until close to midnight and didn't get home until after 2. But so worth the exhaustion.

Over on Chromewaves, lots of great photos and a review from Opera House, Toronto, October 17, 2005.

Here's Hickory Wind's take on the concert:
“Okemah” is a reference to Woody Guthrie’s birthplace, and Farrar certainly has incorporated the protest spirit into his new material. “Jet Pilot,” which was paired with “Endless War,” is a thematic cousin to John Fogerty’s “Fortunate Son,” and takes a none-too-subtle jab at President Bush. Subject matter aside, the new songs exhibit a return to country-informed rock influenced by bands such as Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Farrar seemed pleased, too. Nobody is ever going to confuse him for the gregarious Bono on stage, but he really appeared to be happy to be fronting a rock band again. While far from chatty, he thanked the crowd on several occasions. He dug into a stinging guitar solo at the end of “Medication,” and he blew a pretty fierce harmonica solo on “Damn Shame,” which was a damn nice compliment to Frame’s searing slide guitar.

Despite the concentration of “Okemah” material, Farrar was more than willing to give the fans, even the more casual ones, what they came for. Crowd participation increased with each tune from the classic Son Volt albums “Trace,” “Straightaways” and “Wide Swing Tremolo” – songs such as “Medicine Hat,” “Loose String,” “Route,” “Caryatid Easy” and “Tear Stained Eye.”

Also, here's a review of Son Volt's "Okemah and the Melody of Riot" and more on Neil Young's influence on Jay Farrar and Son Volt's music and more Jay Farrar news.


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