Wednesday, August 1, 2007
But tonight I'm On My Way, tonight I'm On My Way...
Ben Kweller's second night at Southpaw-a showcase of growth
I grew into loving Ben Kweller. It was a gentle, gradual process. 'On My Way' was the first of his albums that i went out and purchased. It was right after i had moved to the city, technically Brooklyn. I was residing in a tiny studio with a fireplace and a tub with claws. I was incredibly niave to the ways of the city and worked daily as a waitress on the Upper East Side serving tourists over priced organic baguettes, cafe lattes and pain chocolats. 'On My Way' was my soundtrack and my theme song. It was so beautifully painful yet full of love and light, like most of my early days in our lovely city. 'My Apartment' was my cheerup song for my train ride home, staring out the windows looking back into Manhattan. It was my 'wake-up' album that let me know i was actually living here, in this amazing city. Last night singing along to every single word i loved the album more than i ever had. It was if Ben too remembered his time surrounding the creation of his second effort, at one point pausing to say, 'i knew i liked this album.' Hearing my favorite verse off of the complete work gave me goosebumps:
"There's this kid you gotta meet. He lives across the street.
He's got spirit and heart. We're ten years apart.
He is up for anything. He can hang with anyone.
He still likes the things we used to think were fun.
Aw, mom, I never thought that I could have a friend
But tonight I'm on my way."
so beautifully written it filled up Southpaw and was the highlight of my night. Added enjoyment came from seeing 'On My Way' directly after 'Sha Sha' because i feel like i am only now discovering and loving Sha Sha completely. Tonight is his last album and his last show at Southpaw. I really have enjoyed seeing Ben perform in such a small space to true and loyal fans. Familar faces eagerly awaited his prescence on the stage and i am sure hearing his latest effort would be incredible. This most recent album showcases his progression and growth into a more mature sound stricken with blues influences and gritty guitar. Ben's lyrics have become more complex and long gone are the punk undertones and youthful lyrics off of 'Sha Sha.' Ben is an incredibly gifted lyricist and musician and i only hope that some more artists start to play these same kinds of showcases in the future. He encored with 'Until I Die', 'Harriet's Got A Song', and 'Red Eye.'
*On a sad note the audience was AWFUL to Adam Green. Whereas I understand that Adam is a special breed and not to be enjoyed by everyone, I was shocked at how overtly rude the crowd was to him. It is one thing to chat during an artist but the room was so loud that Adam had to ask for people to quiet down. It ended up being a performance that disintegrated into a frustrated Green, forgetting lyrics and making vulgar comments... It was not at all how i had hoped to see one of my favorite local artists received...or anyone performing for that matter. I never quite understood how audiences here haven't caught onto his albums, for he has always been one of my favorites. I hope he was able to enjoy singing his songs. His new material sounded fantastic and i am excited for a new album hopefully sometime soon. Sadly, there was no Kokomo match up which i have been waiting for since i downloaded their spicy version! LOVE IT!
Ben Kweller-On My Way.mp3
Ben Kweller-My Apartment.mp3
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