Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This is why they call it "Music City."

I spent the better part of last night in the presence of greatness. It is times like those that make me so glad to be in Nashville over anywhere else in the world. I was at the Rutledge for the first of many RAINN benefit concerts that will tour the states (Boston, NYC, Asheville, to name a few stops). The line-up included Matthew Perryman Jones, who I have mentioned before, K.S. Rhoads, Kate York, Brooke Waggoner, and Katie Herzig, and can I just say, that for $5, anyone who wasn't there truly missed out.

It sometimes makes us Nashvillians jaded to be fortunate enough on any given day to be able to flip open The Scene to scope the evening's shows, or just to stop into our favorite bar/venue and be blown away by incredible talent. Other times, at least for me, it makes me sad that not everyone can do the same. Last night was...for lack of a less overused adjective, amazing.

Kate York, K.S.Rhoads, and Brooke Waggoner started the show off with a typical round - and by "typical," I mean only in format. Every song moved me with the sorrow that wrote it. The three even laughed in jest at their cumulative dismal tone. We've all been there, though - broken, I mean. Their brokenness, however, was far more beautiful than any state in which I have found myself. Inspiring is what it was. Beautifully inspiring.

Lowercase Collective followed the round in what I can only describe as the most boring performance I've ever seen. It wasn't the music, or the songs, it was the lack of energy in the performers. A few times I half expected the bassist to numbly flip the pages of a hidden magazine atop the speaker against the wall, or for the keyboard player to be sipping coffee, making out his grocery list between cud-chewing chomps of his gum. They were bored, hence, we were bored. I feel for the lead guy. If the others had his energy, the show might have been salvaged.

Third on stage was Matthew Perryman Jones. He rocked (hard). No less do I want to bear the children of his music, in fact, I may want to more. I purchased his album, "Throwing Punches in the Dark", on iTunes yesterday. It's incredible. He's incredible. His band was in NO way bored. He performed a version of an old spiritual song that I simply can't recall right this moment...but, wow. It flustered me, moved me, inspired me. Everyone should love him. OK, enough. He's married. ::sigh::

My roommate had mentioned her excitement to see Katie Herzig. I however, had not heard of her. She opened for The Fray a few months ago, she had written a song that caught my ear on the local indie station, but wasn't singing it. I must say that my life is further enriched now that I know of Katie Herzig. She seems the unlikely "rockstar" by appearance, but her voice will quite nearly move you to tears. She pours herself out on the stage - empties herself. For us to even feel a percentage of the passion she offers to her audience, we as society would be changed as a whole.

Four hours, a Michelob Ultra and turkey sandwich later, we headed home. Following so much creative energy, more than anything I wanted to paint, but alas, work waited in the morning hours, and I'm attempting to retrain my body to sleep.

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