|Post Orgasmic Chill
||[Mar. 17th, 2010|01:47 am]
Ok, confession time. A good gig is like SEX to me.
There is that union of body, mind and intent to form a single space in time where nothing else exists except that act, and you as observer. Ok, that's maybe overstating it a little, but only a little.
So yeah, I was at the Crooked Still gig that I was trying to co-erce people to go to, and it blew my mind. The first time I saw them was on a show called Celtic Connections which basically consisted of them doing a live set, and I thought that I had to hear more. Being aware that there's frequently a disparity between live and studio performances (in that, save for the exceptional band, they tend to be strong in one area and weak in the other), I wasn't expecting much from the studio recordings; just for the record, I practically live off their first two albums.
I'd missed their first few concerts over here, but this one I heard about in good time, so I posted about it here, trying to corral some friends into going with me. In the end it was myself and deadlybuzz. The fact that it was on Paddy's Day Eve made it all the more attractive.
As for the actual gig, the support band, I draw slow, was fantastic. It was American folk music done by an Irish group. They even had their own songs in that style. I was blown away. They were professional, with good songs, and a decent stage presence. I could not fault them on a single thing; they were distinct enough from the main act that they had their space, but similar enough to get the audience in a good mood for the rest of the night. In fact, I'm very seriously considering going to their next gig in the Sugar Club on Easter Sunday.
The main act were mindblowing. Ever been at a gig, and you only know half of the main act's work? Well, Crooked Still have 3 albums, with a fourth on the way, I know the first two. However, the other songs just fit; I was still tapping my feet, slapping my thighs, absorbing the music, and I still loved it, despite it's unfamiliarity. How often does that happen?
To continue along my lines of equating a good gig and sex, at a good gig, I will have a crush that lasts as long as a concert. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's my most primal mark of a good concert. At an Itchy Trigger Finger gig (for the Dublin Roller Derby Girls), I wanted to just wrestle the lead singer; I didn't care if I'd win or lose, I just wanted to engage him. I didn't want to wrestle anyone in Crooked Still, but there Fawning on my part. In front of us was a small woman, with a cute nerdish-librarian look, who had an on-stage persona to match. For those that haven't realised this about me, I have a thing for nerd-girls, so that helped. What also helped was that she wasn't the Prima Donna. She was able to stand back and let the magic happen.
I need to explain this a little bit, and it gets a little pagany. In my own little world view, a performance is only worth it if there's an energy exchange. The performer gets the buzz of the audience and fits to meet it. At the same time the performers feed back to the audience. There's a bit of a feedback loop. Now, if you ignore the law of conservation of energy, this leads into a nice little feedback loop. The performers work up up the audience who work up the performers. The performers use that engergy to make magic with their instruments, and that's what every single member of Crooked Still did (as well as I Draw Slow).
Each member used their skills to weave a solid performance, which communicated something. There were solos and back-and-forths that would just stop me in my tracks, or make me laugh out loud for no reason other than that's what was communicated in the music. All through that, Aoife (the lead singer) would stand back to watch it, and looked on in appreciation and approval at the other performers, becoming a familiar part of the audience for as long as she wasn't singing. I could watch her get the same from the music, people she's spent a large portion of her working life with (that's got to wear you down), and get the same as I got in the audience. That was powerful. It also focussed the Fawning.
Next thing I knew, 2 hours had passed. The Fawning was over. I was blissed. From beginning to end, I had not a single complaint. There again, we got there early, and we got what ended up being front row seats. (They were in the second row, but people relocated the first row so that there was not a single embodied soul between us and the stage) I also got a whole load of merch, and managed to get some of it signed.
Now, if I complain in the next few days that my thighs are red-raw, please remind me that it was from losing myself in the music and slapping my thigh along to it (it's a good sign - it's also why I like good trad sessions).
While writing this I've made the mistake of listening to some Crooked Still, and it feels so flat compared to the real thing. I want my next hit already.