Mar 30, 2008

Patty Griffin @ Enmore Theatre

Patty Griffin is pure class. Saturday night at the Enmore Theatre was her last show of her just completed Australian tour and it was a wonderful celebration of the power of the voice. Ah, the voice. Patty Griffin surely has one weapon of a voice. It resonates with tenderness and beauty, power and soul. Just gorgeous, and for over an hour and a half she thoroughly entertained and entranced a smitten audience.

Just last November, I saw Patty play at the Clarendon Guest House and it was a wonderful experience. After such a great reception, she made a quick return to Australia, playing at the Byron Bay Blues Fest and also several larger venues around the nation. If I had to make a direct comparison, I think I enjoyed the Katoomba show slightly more. If only because the smaller venue provided a more intimate experience. But last night's Enmore show was still wonderful, purely because of the talent offered by this great American performer. Another slight difference this time around was a more varied set list. Patty only played 4 songs from her latest splendid album "Children Running Through" (last time there were 8) and dug deep into her catalogue, playing a good spread of tunes from throughout her career. I am sure this pleased a lot of long term fans, but I was secretly wishing for "Trapeze" and "Railroad Wings", amongst others. But this is a minor quibble. As when you are in the hands of a quality performer like Patty Griffin you are most surely guaranteed a memorable night. Interestingly, she opened with 2 covers, a Tom Waits and a Sam Cooke, before delving into her own tunes. Highlights of the night were the eternally moving "Burgundy Shoes", the powerful "Flaming Red", the gorgeous "Top of The World" and the rocking "No Bad News". I also loved "When It Don't Come Easy", a song I was unfamiliar with, but throughly enjoyed. The encore was great too. Well, it featured "Up To The Mountain", her tribute to Martin Luther King, so that song's burning power is enough to fuel a small city. Patty, for most of the night was up front on acoustic, including a Gibson Hummingbird and then also made her way to a grand piano for some songs. This time around she had two musicians backing her. Once again Doug Lancio was superb on guitar, whilst Michael Longoria was a revelation on drums. Subtle and full of texture, he also banged a pipe at one stage, with great effect. All in all, a wonderful night of voice and music. A night in the hands of a generous, genuine and exquisite performer.

Set List
Hang On St Christopher (Tom Waits cover)
Get Yourself Another Fool (Sam Cooke cover)
Making Pies
Burgundy Shoes
Kite Song
Live Forever (Billy Joe Shaver cover)
Flaming Red
Nobody's Crying
Long Ride Home
Love Throws A Line
Top Of The World
Stay On The Ride
When It Don't Come Easy
No Bad News
Mil Besos

Tomorrow Night
Up To The Mountain (MLK Song)


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