Sunday, April 20, 2008

Concert Report: Patty Larkin @ Tupelo Music Hall

Imagine that - Patti and I were back at the Tupelo Music Hall on Saturday night, April 19. We feel very fortunate to live just two miles from the venue.

Every time I see Patty Larkin I am reminded anew just how good she is on guitar. She has some serious guitar chops, and is easily head and shoulders above most singer-songwriters. Was she always that good on guitar? I've seen her numerous times in the past twenty years, and her guitar skills don't stand out in my memory from the first couple of times I saw her. But sometime over the past ten years, wow.

No opening act, so Patty played two sets. The first was about 50 minutes, and the second around 45 minutes. As with the last several times I've seen her, she played both a 6-string acoustic, and an electric Fender Strat (full details here).

One new technical addition to her repertoire (at least since I last saw her) is the use of sampling loops with the electric guitar, which she used on several of the songs from her latest album (Watch The Sky), including on "Beautiful", "Traveling Alone", and the encore "Phone Message". The latter song is a wild piece that she started on the Fender, sampled, and then switched instruments to a bouzouki. On "Dear Heart" she sampled, and then started playing the Fender with a fiddle bow; I've seen all sorts of innovative guitar players (RIP Michael Hedges), but I don't recall ever seeing that before. (Or am I just being dense?)

The show was a good mix of her newer material and our old familiar favorites (on acoustic guitar, unless otherwise noted):

Set 1:
Open Arms (Don't Explain)
The Book I'm Not Reading
Cover Me
Hand Full of Water
Italian Shoes
Wolf at the Door
Dear Heart (electric)
Beautiful (electric)

Set 2:
Johnny Was a Pyro
I Told Him That My Dog Wouldn't Run
Island of Time
Who Holds Your Hand
Walking in My Sleep (electric)
Traveling Alone (electric)
Might As Well Dance
Encore: Phone Message

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