Friday, April 18, 2008

Concert Report: Dar Williams @ Tupelo Music Hall

Patti and I were back at Tupelo on Wednesday night for another sold out show - this time for the beautiful soprano voice and lyrics of Dar Williams.

Behold, a real ticket stub:
Dar Williams ticket stub

We normally don't have ticket stubs for Tupelo shows, as they normally just track reservations by name. But we happened to purchase these tix when we were at a show earlier this year, and received honest to goodness printed tickets.

Amazingly enough, this was the first time Dar has played in Londonderry. How can that be? I'm mystified that Dar had never been booked by Meredith to play at the Muse (the venue's name prior to being Tupelo). She indicated that she clearly new of the venue and its wonderful reputation, as one would expect. After all, pretty much all of her contemporaries have played there - including Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell, Vance Gilbert, and Shawn Colvin.

Patti and I had not seen Dar since the Cry Cry Cry tour she did with Richard and Lucy way back in 1999 and 2000. Yow, that was a long time ago. And we haven't seen her solo since before that.
There wasn't an opening act, and Dar played a single set that lasted about an hour and a half long. For most of the set she was accompanied on piano and harmony vocals by Laura Meyer Atkin (at least that's what I think her name is). The accompaniment was nicely subtle, just helping to fill out the sound.

Her set was a mixture of mostly older songs with just a few new numbers. An early highlight for me was "The Babysitter's Here", done slowly and poignantly, yet with its little undercurrent of humor. "Spring Street" was introduced with yet another take on the four seasons in New England: Winter, Mud, Road Construction, and Tourists. A new song, "Buzzer" appears to have been influenced by the Milgram obedience experiments.

I was surprised that not many in the audience seemed to know of her cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb", which she put out on her 2005 album. Scott, on the soundboard, introduced a little spacy reverb to her vocals, which caught her by surprise.

Another new song, "It's All I Need To Know" was written for her husband. I hope this shows up on an upcoming album, as it was simply beautiful and heartfelt.

The set list:

Fishing In The Morning
The Babysitter's Here
Spring Street
The Business of Things
Book of Love
If I Wrote You
After All
The Ocean
It's All I Need To Know
The Mercy Of The Fallen
When I Was A Boy
Encore: We Learned The Sea

1 comment:

photomonk said...

Greetings! Just stumbled on your review here. I was at the show as well. Dar always shines and it is a treat to see her in a smaller room. Just FYI the song about her husband that you call "All I Need to Know" is actually called "You Rise and Meet the Day" and has already been released on "My Better Self" :-)

amy p.

PS Have you ever been to the Falcon Ridge Folk Fest? If not, I think you would enjoy it...