Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oh, Comely: A Review of Jeff Mangum @ Asbury Hall

I will try as hard as I possibly can to not sound as gushy gushy as i would like to be about the show last night, but i make no promises to you, my loyal readers.

It was wonderful, beautiful, haunting, and somehow amongst all that, fun.

To summarize how the entire show felt, a couple songs in, during "King of Carrot flowers" the power to Asbury Hall went out. In the darkness, only illuminated by the Street lights from outside, Jeff unplugged his guitar, came to the very front of the stage, and started playing for us with no power.

And for any of you that frequent concerts knows, a magical thing happened... everyone became completely silent. No one, and i mean no one, made any noise, and we all just listened, like he was hanging out in our living room.

At a point in the song, everyone then started singing along, and in some sort of transcendent moment, while we were all singing and the energy was building to a peak, the power came back on, we continued singing, he plugged back in and the concert was on its merry way. Its one of those magical moments that makes you remember why you go to live concerts in the first place.

After that, he ran through the gauntlet of songs from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and others. And also played a song that he had "Never played before" (and asked us afterwards "if we liked it", he is exceptionally endearing)

You could tell that he really enjoyed being up there, and openly admitted how taken aback he was at how appreciative we, the audience, were. It was one of the best shows i have ever seen in Buffalo (up there with Andrew Bird and St Vincent @ asbury hall, Roger Waters @ Darien Lake, Umphree's Mcgee @ the outer harbor, Medeski Martin and Wood at Klienhans).

And who knows when, or if, he'll ever be back? He's only played a handful of shows over the past decade, and i for one hope to see him many times again in the future, but if he never comes around again.... This was filled with enough memories to last a lifetime.

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