Mutual Admiration Society
moultano Creator of ns_shiva.Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
edited August 2004 in Off-Topic
Best. Concert. Ever.I just got back from Cleveland. 4 hour drive. Worth every second of it.
For those who haven't heard of it, the Mutual Admiration Society started as a collaboration between Nickel Creek (probably the best newgrass band around) and Glen Phillips (the creative force behind Toad the Wet Sprocket). Glen Phillips appeared as a guest on Sean Watkins' song "Let it Fall" and the resulting friendship produced a studio album called the "Mutual Admiration Society" that was released this summer.
Nickel Creek recruits guest bassists for their tours, and for this tour, on a whim they decided to ask John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin) and much to their surprise he accepted. They also recruited drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello & The Attractions).
All the events prior to the concert pretty much sucked. We got into Cleveland later than we had hoped, rushed through dinner at an overpriced **** chinese place in which some very loud fat lady was conducting astrology readings for her depressed middle aged friends. My friends let me off at the club so I could pick up the tickets from will call while they parked the car, and though it was not listed anywhere on the website for this place, they charged me an extra two bucks to get in since I'm not yet 21. I missed the first song waiting for my friends to get back. By the time I got into the venue, the place was packed (sold out show) and there really wasn't anywhere decent to stand. I was in a very bad mood at this point and the prospects weren't looking good for me enjoying the concert.
Thankfully, my frustration didn't last long. The band broke into a moving rendition of the Toads song "Windmills" that was enough to drive any of my prior inconveniences out of mind. I was giggling with glee for most of the rest of concert.
The first half of the set was relatively tame. It consisted mostly of songs from the Mutual Admiration Society album, with a little additional jamming. Highlights included Nickel Creek's "Smoothie Song" on which John Paul Jones' bass runs added a perfect touch.
At the midpoint of the show, things started to get crazy. The first sign of a gear shift was when Sara, Chris, Glen, and John performed one song singing around a single mike with Sara playing the Ukulele. After this John Paul Jones picked up the mandolin and Sean Watkins joined him on guitar for a beautiful instrumental version of Led Zeppelin's "Going to California." Glen Phillips came out and played a song on his own.
As the last of these little vignettes, Chris Thile played Bach on his mandolin! The crowd went absolutely crazy at this. They were pin drop silent for the entire piece and absolutely exploded when it was finished. Chris Thile has got to be one of the best mandolin players in the world. When the rest of the band came back on stage, Glen quipped, "there's probably something illegal about playing Bach in shorts."
After a few more songs with some great solos from Sean and Chris they finished out the set with a medley, the highlight of which was a crazy transition from Nickel Creek's "The Fox" to Led Zeppelin's "The Immigrant Song."
There were two encores.
"And now we're going to play an old english folk song," Sara said with a smile as the popped back on stage. They launched into Led Zeppelin's "Gallows pole" which ended at an absolutely frenetic pace. Chris must have been inches from breaking strings.
They played "You Don't Have to Move that Mountain" a fast gospel tune for their second encore, and improvised all over the place. Every member of the band took at least one solo. They finished with a goofy little dance for the last few chords and left the stage grinning amidst thunderous cheers.
The most amazing thing about the concert was how much fun they were all obviously having. They would grin at eachother after particularly hot solos, goof around on stage. John Paul Jones did timid little dances with his shoulders. It was interesting seeing John Paul Jones, international rock superstar, reacting to the completely different concert style of an acoustic bluegrass band playing in a small club. As he joked, "Its a lot quieter up here."
To top it all off, they passed out sampler cds after the show with tracks from the band members' solo albums. We waited around after the show for the artists to come out. I got my picture taken with Sean Watkins (who has been quite an inspiration for my own guitar playing) and I got the sampler cd signed by Sean Watkins, Chris Thile, Glen Phillips, and Joh Paul Jones.
We finished off the night with some great icecream at a local parlor.
This concert absolutely made my month. If you have any opportunity of seeing them before the tour ends, DO IT! It was the best $28 I've ever spent.
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