Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cass McCombs at the Bowery Ballroom

(image taken from What's Protocol)

(image taken from Indie Rock Reviews)

(image taken from Pretty Much Amazing)

Last night, the filmmaker and I enjoyed an evening of incredible live music; one of my favorite songwriters, Cass McCombs, performed at the Bowery Ballroom and peremptorily earned a place in my heart as one of my favorite live shows. The Bowery, despite serving as a lek mating ground for female and male hipsters alike, preening and flaunting their respective desirable ironic traits, and despite exorbitant drink prices, is an ideal venue; it is an intimate space and the acoustics are perfect.

Opening for Cass was a young man named Frank Fairfield, who played a repertoire of late nineteenth century and early twentieth century song book folk classics. Dressed dapper, in a brown tweed suit and a jauntily groomed mustache, he twanged and thrilled upon a fiddle, a banjo, and a guitar, equally adroit in all three stringed mediums, furiously coaxing from their carved wooden bodies fast and sweet rhythms, occasionally whooping with his own mouth. Had there been even the tiniest shred of ironic affectation in this wonderfully nostalgic and talented display, I would have loathed it; thankfully, even his sweat was genuine and endearing. Unfortunately, I did not have cash on hand to purchase an album; I would have loved to buy an appropriately old-fashioned LP. I will certainly be perusing upcoming tours.

Although I have listened and re-listened to his songs for years, I had never actually gazed upon his veritable visage; last night, the band and Cass remained blackened, the stage back lit with a terrain of small yellow lights, allowing the mystery of his person persist, his voice and his guitar to resonate and dominate. Deviating from this recorded work, Mr. McCombs performed some extended versions of his songs, gleaning from the depths of each piece further tapestries of melodic reverberations. I had not been to a live show in some time, and, against the grain, against nature, I swayed to and fro, my body enveloped in slow-washing sound, the audience around me steadfast and grave with awe.

1 comment:

  1. The second shot is amazing :) I have never heard of him...thanks for sharing!