Monday, May 25, 2009

The Garage: Winston Salem, NC 5-24-09

Pulling up to The Garage in North Carolina around about 8:20, I was not prepared for the line that had already formed out side the door of the impossibly small club. Made from a real garage, The Garage had fostered a growing local community of Felice Brothers fans, including those who had been to all 6 of the FBs previous gigs there. The stage was narrow and very deep; not a problem for Taylor Hollingworth as he opened with a stellar set, just him and his guitar. However, when the brothers joined him for a great rendition of Taylor's "Damn Boy, What's Wrong With You" the stage got pretty crowded. The boys were quite a bit more sloshed than the previous nights, although this simply provided an extremely energetic and unforgettable set. Unfortunately, with the deep stage, Searcher seemed miles away from the audience. He didn't let it phase him though and, as always, had a huge smile on his face and played a great set. Jimmy was in great form, playing genius riffs on his keyboard, and performed Goddamn You Jim with incredible emotion and depth. Although jumpinbean got the set list and I'm sure will post it soon, there are still some highlights that need to be shared. After a wonderful rendition of The Ballad of Lou the Welterweight, Jimmy tipped some drink out of his glass and Xmas pulled out his lighter in tribute. Some audience members began heckling them to play Take this Hammer. Ian' response? "You got a hammer? I'll take it. I need a hammer." After considerably more heckling, they played the song to great cheers from the audience. When more drinks were called for, Brandon brought them, instead of their usual beer or hard liquor, cups of mixed drinks with tinsel decorations. "Mixed drinks is the new thing. We've gone soft." The audience was keen to hear the Townes Van Zandt cover "Two Hands," and they were all clapping along. The night got a little sour when something went a little funky with the bass line and Ian playfully kicked Xmas. However, Xmas came back on with the rest of the band to play the encore, starting with an intimate and touching St. Stephen's End. Penn Station at the end was, of course, crazy. Taylor came back to sing and play keyboard and Farley performed his signature drum dive, toppling one of the amps. Searcher had to help him up, it was so tight in the back. With the largest crowd of the weekend in the smallest venue, the energy was palpable to the rafters, prompting the Brothers to play and intense and wild set, one of the best I've seen.

Miryam thanks again