One down, far too many to go, but you can read about those as they come in. May I present the first dispatch for the time being.
Jeff Tweedy, Van Duzer Theater, February 6, 2006: I made a speedy drive up on Super Bowl Sunday to meet Judy, Evonne, and Paul on the northern coast. Such a city girl am I that I've never been this far north in the state. Granted, it's ridiculously beautiful, and the terrain is breathtaking but when you don't tend toward nature-oriented activities, there's only so much time you can spend in the great outdoors. We explored the small town square and even took a wonderful hike out at the ocean cliffs. See, we know how to make the most of our day when we get the chance!
The show wasn't sold out, and the balcony was only half full. Our seats in the first row were shockingly close, and we had no problem settling in. I can't lie--I do this a lot, and it's not always easy to get excited, except for the prospect of seeing my friends and exploring new places. And as the show started, I wasn't sure I'd be thrilled. But when Jeff did "In a Future Age" and, a few songs later, "I'm Beginning to See the Light," I knew I wasn't going to forget this one soon. If Jeff ever drops by Largo, I think we know which song he can do. No one minded our singing along, and the crowd was wonderfully respectful. Even the 11-month-old baby, the inspiration for the Duke Ellington number, merely cooed throughout the set.
By the first encore, Jeff seemed suitably relaxed and got a lot of laughs, though at the expense of Glenn Kotche, perhaps one of the best sports I've ever seen onstage. At the very end, we saw something I've never seen Jeff do before: turn off the PA, come to the edge of the stage, and sing "Acuff Rose." If I were more jaded, I might suggest that the presence of the documentary cameras helped bring about that moment, but at that point, I was completely renewed for the upcoming string of shows.
Glenn opened the show with mostly the same set he did on the East Coast run last fall. He didn't bring the vibes this time, but he substituted a cool Steve Reich number that shows off a lot of his influences. He didn't sing on the João Gilberto song, but the other elements shone through.
For a supposedly low-key show, this gig was a great way to kick off this week's activities. Fillmore (and home), here we come!
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