Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mic Check: Deer Tick, Middle Brother, Matt Vasquez, Sharon Van Etten, and Jonny Corndawg @ Newport Blues Cafe, 07/28/12, Newport, RI

If it wasn't such a dark photo, you would totes be able to revel in the amazingness of the outfit.

We walked into the club as Jonny had just started playing, to find him wearing a gigantic pair of jeans and a 6XL Harley teeshirt that read: "If You Can Read This, The Bitch Fell Off."
We found ourselves standing precariously close to the stage. I took in upon myself to decide that we would not be moving. Not even for beer. Not even for anything.
This was one of my best ideas ever.

Jonny Fritz + Josh Hedley = Joyful Expressions On My Face

Jonny's set was unbelievably energetic, especially considering that he had played the Quad earlier in the day and hadn't been feeling well the night before, having to cancel his gig in Maine. He played a lot of favorites ("Chevy Beretta," "Ain't It Your Birthday," "Trash Day") and he even had Matt Vasquez come out to help on vocals for "Red On The Head." In short, the perfect set to end a perfect day of performances from the one and only Jonny Fritz and crew. If you didn't love him before, you certainly loved him Saturday night.

 Matt Vasquez doesn't always perform wrapped in a fringy blanket, but when he does, it is glorious.


Sharon Van Etten, LET ME LOVE YOU. We missed her set at the festival because we were at Frank Fairfield, but we knew that we would get to see her in a more intimate setting that night, so we didn't stress too much over it. Little did we know that we would be standing a couple of feet from her (behind some truly sad specimens of drunken douchebag, but no worries - Sharon took care of that because SHE DOES NOT SUFFER FOOLS). The husband has been into her for a while now, and I was less familiar with her work, but I was pretty much instantly enamored - her voice, her lyrics, her general presence. All of these things making me pine for 1994. This woman. I am obsessed. My personal favorite of the evening would have to be "All I Can." If you find yourself living near Albany, NY, you're going to want to come and see her with the husband and I at the Restoration Festival on September 8. I can neither confirm nor deny that I screamed out loud when they made the announcement this week that she was the headliner. 

 I haz wirez.

When we saw that Matt Vasquez was slated for a 40 minute solo set, we were kind of like, "Hmm...that seems suspect. Aren't Dawes playing on Saturday? Hmm...that seems suspect."
It should have surprised no one when Taylor (and Griffin!) walked out onto the stage, and we all found ourselves at a Middle Brother show.

 Remember before, when I was lamenting that I wasn't closer to Taylor?

I don't think I can explain my emotions. After having missed out on seeing them at the festival last year, I thought I'd never have another chance. So I was pretty much ready to smash my body against the stage and enjoy it. "Middle Brother," "Million Dollar Bill," "Blue Eyes," and "Theatre." Perfection.

Here - pretend you were there with us for a minute:

The Goldsmiths left, Vasquez stayed, and OKAY LET'S HAVE SOME DEERVANA. 
"Negative Creep" and "Scentless Apprentice," and getting doused in beer, and Matt Vasquez screaming, making John seem subdued in comparison. I can't even. It was incredible.


"Hope is Big," "Hell on Earth," their cover of "Carmelita," another round of "Ashamed" and "Let's All Go To The Bar" was an epic set.

This night was the stuff that dreams are made of. The kind of concert you would sketch out in the back of a notebook and think, "Man, it would be so awesome if this actually happened." Except it did happen, and I was there to experience it, and I was with my best friend. And nothing hurt.

*I just realized that all of the videos that I used for this post were shot by the same dude. Check out scottgilbert02's channel on youtube for more Newport goodness! And come back tomorrow for my recap of Day 2 of the festival!


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