Saturday, March 08, 2008

Rich Man

We saw Jonathan Richman at the Middle East Upstairs tonight. I won't go on and on about him like I usually do, but here's a little semi-wrap up.

Vic Chesnutt opened. I think he made fans out of us. He had a great way of introducing a song, too: "You may have heard me play this song.... ...if you were in my ROOM!" So much better than, "here's a new song...." He also had a tune mocking people who act all proud to live to please their god or whatever, meanwhile treating everyone around them like shit.

Richman took the stage and immediately we got to see something unheard of: Jonathan Richman getting angry. Some dude in the front tried to "help" by repositioning the guitar microphone. Bad call, brother. Richman was pissed, but went right back to his innocent, smiling face. A few songs later, he apologized to us and the guy for getting mad. Besides that one moment that was some stupid audience-member, it was a great show. He skipped a lot of the classics, but it totally didn't matter. I love hearing his songs that I've never heard before. He always makes you feel like he's doing it off the top of his head, inspired by the setting he's in and the crowd around him. Then you later find out, Oh, that was an actual song.

Tonight, he did an anti-cell phone song. Almost as if Jon's been reading my mind, he sang about how when he's on a walk, he's on a walk, and you can't call him on his walk. When he's on the beach, he's on the beach, etc. I wanted to scream at the two stupid girls next to me who were checking their fucking phones all night, "and when you're at a Jonathan Richman show, you're at a Jonathan Richman show!" What were they checking for? Was a family member being held hostage, and they needed to be able to meet the people's demands, knowing that if they missed the call, the family member would be killed? (At which point they'd go to the funeral and check their phone the whole time anyway.) If you can't just allow yourself to enjoy a two-hour concert without absolutely needing to know if your friend called to say, 'wut r u doing', you have serious problems. Enjoy life, people, you only get one shot at it. Check your messages when you're dead. You'll find that none of them were important anyway.


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Location: Rhode Island, United States