Sunday, April 03, 2005

this is what i do

I'm slowly realizing that I'm still in the midst of a bout of PCD and in withdrawal from the wonderful events of March. But whining and moaning is the last thing I want to do (this post aside), so I figure you just gotta move on and get back on the horse. Fortunately, there are certainly opportunities to do so in this town.

Rhett Miller, Swedish American Hall, April 2, 2005: On the way in, I noticed that the little bulletin board by the entrance has a list of the hall's events posted--not gigs, mind you, but meetings of the Swedish Ladies Society and such. So cute. I have visions of a buffet of meatballs and, um, aquavit.

The hall itself is a gorgeous affair, looking like something out of, errrr, The Crucible. It has great wood detailing and clean, open lines. I always think it'd be a great place to have a wedding, but I've only been there for shows. I understand that it sometimes hosts readings as well.

I hold my breath every time a Largo regular shows up in San Francisco, in the hopes that Jon Brion will decide to tag along with them and jump onstage at some point during the show. Of course, I've been wrong every single time I've anticipated an appearance, and he instead shows up at the least likely shows (Critters Buggin', Polyphonic Spree), so I really should just give it up. This time, when I saw the baby grand still under wraps and pushed back in a corner, I knew this would be a truly solo show, though on certain songs I could hear Jon's backing vocals in my head (oy, I'm hopeless).

Last time we saw Rhett was with the Old 97's at the Fillmore last summer. Now, he's about to start his second solo album, which explains why he's making appearances at Largo again and why he's doing San Francisco. It also explains his setlist, which covered a number of new songs. I don't know who's producing his new record, so who knows how the songs will sound in their final incarnation, but they were pretty straightforward and patently Rhett. My favorite of the bunch was a country/western-style duet for which he has yet to find a female lead. I believe it was called "Firefly," and a local group has also recorded it. Of course, he did tons of old favorites too. The song selection for the encore were inspired by his friends' recent engagement. The tunes included "Question," "The New Kid," "Our Love," and "Erica the Beautiful." All the way through, he told numerous charming stories. It's hard not to get swoony over him. Swooooooooooooon.

By the way, he was as cute as a button. He cut his hair, he has bangs again, and he did that hip and arm thing. Rowr.

Inara George was the opener, and she was accompanied on acoustic guitar and backing vocals by a guy named Mike. It took me a while to remember that they play Largo all the time, and they certainly fit the mold. Inara has a lovely voice, and their set was fine and low-key.

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