Darkness On The Edge Of Winooski Friday January 25, 2013 At The Monkey House
Words by Tim Lewis.
Whoo hoo, I’m not a big Bruce Springsteen fan, but with Swale, Blue Button and Vedora playing his songs, I was very psyched to go. I got out of work at 6:30 and Rich was hanging out when I got home. He was heading somewhere else, but just after 9 he gave me a ride to Winooski.
I walked in and a woman was playing acoustic guitar and singing a song I did not know. I think it was Sarah Stickle. By the time I settled in, she had wrapped up her set. I found a place close to the stage in the crowded Monkey House and soon Joe Adler and Eric Segalstad took the stage. Joe played acoustic guitar and sang and Eric played some pretty aggressive lead guitarish mandolin. They jammed out Adam Raised a Cain and had the enthusiastic audience shout out each time they sang that line. Joe’s deep voice and rocking guitar made it pretty fun. Next up was a song I did not know from Nebraska, then they brought up Aya Inoue for Atlantic City. Her voice is beautiful and blended wonderfully with Joe’s. They did a great job and I was having lots of fun.
I did not catch the name of the next artist who played. It was a guy with acoustic guitar and harmonica. I did not know either of the two songs, but his playing was subtle and beautiful.
Lowell Thompson took the stage next and opened with Atlantic City. I was a bit put off at first, having just heard the song, but his version was different and his playing very intimate. He’s such a solid musician, that I really liked his version. He followed with two more that I did not know, but were fun to listen to.
Nest, Tooth Ache set up her keyboard and array of effects. She was joined by a guy on xylophone with tubes on the bottom of the rig, and a keyboard that he also hit with the mallets. They used an electronic beat and played ’80’s pop versions of I’m on Fire and Dancing in the Dark. They did not amaze me, but they sounded pretty nice, and I was happy to listen.
At some point I heard that Swale or Blue Button were not able to make the show. Later I heard it was both. Rats! At least I had seen Vedora, and knew that they were there. I heard later that one of the other bands had to cancel. I think it was Parmaga. At one point, I ran into Dan Bolles and chatted for a moment or two.
Following Tooth Ache, Paddy Reagan took the stage. He sang to pre-recorded music, a la Ryan Power, and did a sweet electronic version of Philadelphia. He followed with yet another version of Atlantic City. It was good, but not as good as the two previous ones.
Vedora took the stage next and opened with I’m on Fire. Despite it’s redundancy, it was the first time in a long time that I was lucky enough to hear Caroline play sax. She blew the room away. Matt’s deep voice sounded great singing Bruce’s song, and Jeff kept things propelled on drums. They followed with Caroline singing Dancing in the Dark. It sounded good, but the number of repeats was starting to get to me. In the second half of the song, she picked the sax back up, and drove the tune home.
With no Swale or Blue Button to follow, I settled up and headed out, for the long and quiet walk home. I had a long workday Saturday and more music to see that night. I really wish there had been a bit more coordination in the songs. It might have been cool to see Vedora jam out Rosalita or Jungleland, but it is what it was. Despite some disappointment, I’m really glad I went out. That’s the thing about live music. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes not, but you will never know unless you go. And, if the show as a whole was a bit of a letdown, there were parts of pure beauty.
This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog, https://timstriangletribune.wordpress.com.