Friday, March 28, 2008

Jose Gonzalez...

...with Mia Doi Todd
The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
March 27th, 2008

So I went to see a pair of lovely folk singers last night. Apparently it was sorority / fraternity night at The Fillmore, or better yet; a football crowd showed up for the quiet, acoustic sounds of Mia Doi Todd & Jose Gonzalez. Must've been a lot of colleges' spring break week, because I've never seen this type of hootin' n hollerin' audience attend this type of concert. It was maybe one of the weirdest concert experiences in recent memory. Let's talk about the show and I'll go into detail further about all that...

Last night's opening act, Mia Doi Todd from L.A.- wow, what a beautiful voice! Think: stripped-down folk, bare bones acoustic neo-soul. In between songs she spoke a little about some things; she has this endearing awkwardness that totally drew me in, I'm magnetized by creative nerdy girls with guitars (Laura Veirs, St. Vincent, etc...).

Here's Mia doing her thing...

...she was joined by a percussionist, Andres Renteria.

Then onto Jose- he started out solo, working through a few songs before being joined by backing vocalists / percussionists.

I was really impressed with the lights at The Fillmore, they seemed to match the mood of the songs. I'm a huge believer in the concept of sound as color, and I think the marriage of the two played quite well last night...

Deadweight On Velveteen
Slow Moves
Stay In The Shade
In Our Nature
How Low
The Nest
Down The Line
Killing For Love
Cycling Trivialities

Broken Arrows
Time To Send Someone Away

Okay, let me rant a moment about this crowd- when I last saw Jose (last October at The Great American Music Hall) you could hear a freaking pin drop during the songs, there were no woot's and people yelling out song requests, they just let Mr. Gonzalez do his thing. Here's my review of that show.

I should've figured the crowd would have been packed with jerks last night, during Mia's set there was a lot of ruckus from the bar alongside the left side of The Fillmore's lower level, as her set went on she had to fight her voice through the inattentive wankers.

I was able to get dead center, about 10 rows back from the stage, where the sound is usually best. But some popped-collar frat boy next to me decided he was going to serenade his ditzy blonde date. Luckily the douchebag only knew like 3 songs, saving himself from even more dirty looks from yours truly.

And to the Amazonian woman next to me, thanks for all the elbows! Seriously, if you're like 6-foot-2, stand in the back and let us 5-foot-8 people who actually want to be at the show stand up front.

To the screaming drunk girls behind me: you fucking broke my eardrums with your shrill screams and pleas of "I love you Jose!" Yeah, he knows- you forked over $35 bucks to see him, I think he knows that already. We all love him, that's why we went to his fucking concert.

As the show ended and people turned to the cattle-shoot they call an exit at The Fillmore, my show-mate Alison was like, "what a weird crowd for this type of music..." My sentiments exactly; I can't figure out what happened between October's show and last night. Is it because Jose's new album (In Our Nature) had a few videos attached to its release and MTVU or whatever brain-dead college kids watch these days picked them up and brought Jose's music to all the Dave Matthews-loving, Axe body spray-wearing, Xbox-playing "bros" and their female counterparts, the blonde-headed sorority sisters?

That's definitely a question I'll be pondering next time I see Ticketmaster's concert alerts; I think I'll sit out Jose's next visit to the Bay Area...

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