Sunday, April 11, 2010

Patty Griffin at the Wiltern

There is something special about a Patty Griffin concert in L.A. It has nothing directly to do with Patty's performance and everything to do with her music. We always seem to meet people who are seeing Patty for the first time and yesterday was no exception. Hanging next to us as we leaned against the stage was a group of 3 or 4 who had flown in from Hawaii for their first ever show. But nothing could compare to the bubbling energy that was Jocelyn, a 21 year old on her own who hung out with us for the entire 5 plus hours (2 hours in line). This was her first Patty Griffin show and she was so excited. I have been there many times and it was easy to relate to her. We had a great time telling each other stories and talking about music. What made this all humorous was that she is also Jewish. So, here are three Jews, front and center, waiting for Patty Griffin to come out and sing songs from her new Gospel CD.

But first... Buddy Miller came on stage and sang with only an acoustic guitar. After just one song, he brought his band out on stage, which included backup singer, Patty Griffin. She sang backup the entire set (except for the closing number which was again an acoustic solo). And what a potent 45 minutes it was. Singing classics like, "I Worry Too Much" along with a few songs from his latest collaboration with his wife Julie, "Written in Chalk", he had the entire audience bouncing around and loving every minute of it.

After a 20 minute break, Patty came out, with the same band (plus an extra guitarist and keyboards) and Buddy sang backup and played guitar. As expected, Patty focused on her latest CD, "Downtown Church", playing very few other songs from her catalog ("Stay on the Ride", "Heavenly Day", "Up To The Mountain") and only one song from the previous millennium ("Mary"). I may have missed one, but that is my recollection. About half way through her set, she did a solo acoustic set, introducing us to a sexy new song about her grandparents that was so cute. Early in her career Patty proved what a great songwriter she was. Now she is showing us her vocal talents; and they continue to amaze. I will never get tired of listening to her sing. This night was obviously about other people's music, so it was not a surprise when she finished the night with a cover; a rockin' version of the Fabulous Thunderbirds "Why Get Up". It was another great Patty Griffin at the Wiltern show. I can't wait for the next one.

On a side note, my Emitt Rhodes t-shirt continues to get noticed at concerts. I had a few minute conversation with a long time fan about Emitt. It has now surpassed my Alejandro Escovedo shirt, which got lots of comments when Springsteen was last in town. I think I'll wear it to the Peter Himmelman show at McCabes on the 25th.


Valerie said...

Nice to hear the emitt t is treating you well! Please tell them all it's available on eBay :o)
Val from the emitt fb group

Bruce Greenberg said...

You just did Valerie. :-)

Music Hall Link - Alejandro Escovedo listen