Let Me Entertain You: Son Volt @ World Cafe Live 9.16.09

It’s not that Son Volt’s performance was particularly bad, there were just many factors that made this show a little less than spectacular. First off, the album that thery’re currently touring for, American Central Dust, isn’t their best. Throughout the whole set, I recognized only four songs, and none of them were from the new album. That could be due to one of two things: either the songs weren’t that memorable to begin with, or they rearranged them beyond recognition to play in a live setting. My best guess is the former. Secondly, as the only constant member of the band, Jay Farrar (inadvertantly or otherwise) serves as the focus of any Son Volt performance. You wouldn’t think he’s the kind of person who wants that kind of attention, as his emotions through the night ranged from dour to bored to strained patience. In fact, the only time he flashed a bit of a smile was in the middle of the set when the guitar tech came over to liberate Farrar from his jacket. Though they couldn’t totally make up for Farrar’s apparent lack of interest, the rest of the band showed both great energy and musicianship. Bassist Andrew Duplantis seemed to be rather happy to be in this particular band, and guitarist Chris Masterson made some pretty extreme ‘guitar faces,’ even when playing lap steel. On the far side of the stage, Mark Spencer “juggled,” as Farrar put it, the keyboards and pedal steel, and drummer Dave Bryson switched between different kinds of sticks for practically every song.

So, how was the music? Well, again, whatever songs were from the new album didn’t stand out (Farrar, unsurprisingly, doesn’t talk a lot during his shows). A few tracks from their much more eclectic last album, 2007’s The Search, were very welcome (especially the encore-opening “Action”). Aside from those, Farrar almost begrudgingly played “Tear-Stained Eye” and “Windfall,” as if they were in the perfomance contract. The fans were into it, though, so some credit has to go to the band for making something that moves a lot of people. A lot, not all.

Click the picture at the top of this post to see more of Son Volt in concert!

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~ by E. on September 17, 2009.

One Response to “Let Me Entertain You: Son Volt @ World Cafe Live 9.16.09”

  1. HERE are some videos from that show at World Cafe Live.

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