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9/17/08 Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC
Movin' On, Living in Babylon, Positive Friction, I Don't Need a Riddle, Hit the Groove, Blue Sky, Tomorrow Still Knows, Beauty Within, Voice in My Head, Sailing, Ring of Fire, You're Breaking My Heart, Temporary Misery, These Are Better Days, Ancient Arms, It's Just Me, Broken Record, Garden of Eden, Seems to Want to Hurt This Time, No Place Like the Right Time
Encore: Locket and Key, Conscious Evolution
* No Tom Gilbert; Vic Stafford played drums
By Paul Roberge
I'm too tired to write a full-dress review; I have a full
day of teaching tomorrow, after which I am to pick up Maggie
and head to Charlotte. Just some random notes:
This was a very sweet show. The band was/is in a very nice space.
Good turnout, but not at all close down at the rail, nice crowd for
the most part. Many familiar faces, both from the list and from
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill-Greensboro-High Point-Charlotte
Jeb graciously introduced the "North Carolina rhythm section."
"These Are Better Days" was dedicated to the Obama campaign.
Tara asked where we would all want to live if McCain/Palin were to prevail
Tara broke two guitar strings during "Ancient Arms," in an Avett Brothers
moment. A call went out for a person in the crowd who knew how to
replace guitar srings, and it yielded one Jeff Hart, who effected the
necessary repairs to Tara's satisfaction and public encomium.
Jeb announced the birth of Tom Gilbert's daughter, Dorothy Rose Gilbert,
after "It's Just Me."
"Seems to Want to Hurt This Time" was dedicated to a person named
Ransom, né Billy Hobbs (sp.?), apparently a friend of David McCracken's
who was murdered last week. This song was in efffect a requiem and
was movingly performed. During a particulary tender part of the jam,
a hush fell over the crowd--a few conversations to be heard, here and there,
but the not the usual din that is the norm for a club. A tear rolled off my cheek.
At the start of the encore, Tara told an anecdote about an aunt and
uncle-in-law (I hope I recall this accurately) who are supporters of
McCain/Palin. The images we were invited to ponder were of a
moose head hung on White House wall, along with a portrait of
Charlton Heston with a rifle, and a bear-skin rug. From the
knucklehead gallery (which was actually pretty negligible overall)
came a shout: "Just play music!" Both Tara and Jeb took exception
to this, and rightly so.
"Conscious Evolution" went into free form during the
jam--with Jay playing chords on the bass and Tara playing what sounded
like a familiar old-time fiddle tune, the name of which I cannot summon.
It was most extraordinary, all the more so when Jeb addressed a few
choice, deeply felt remarks in the direction of the aforementioned
knucklehead. I sincerely hope that Jeb would not mind my
paraphrasing his words here, because what he said is
important and expresses what so many of us feel viscerally:
We, too, are weary of the lies and the bullshit; we love our
children deeply and we shall do what we must to protect them
from harm; we must not be told that we may not speak; and we
must turn to the beauty in our own hearts.
In spite of myself, I have just written a review of this show.
And I bid you good night..