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John Vanderslice at the Independent 11/5/05 (finally)

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:05 pm

I am finally having the opportunity to write up the John Vanderslice (the nicest guy in indie rock) at the Independent a week and a half ago.

When JV was on my radio show in August, he said he’d put me on the guestlist (plus a guest nogal!) if I emailed him about a week before the show. I did and he did. (He also sent me Pixel Revolt following the show, so I figure I owe him at least $30 for the tickets and that.)

I went down with Bokoch and Tom-I-guess-his-name was (a friend of Mike’s). We drove around for a while looking for parking (which always happens when I go to the Independent). We wanted to have some dinner right near the club and we found Brother-in-Law’s BBQ #2. They were out of brisket and some other stuff, but we got the ribs and they turned out to be good. It’s a very no-nonsense type of place, which I liked. I’d recommend it if you’re down in that area. I gave Gumbeaux a call as we headed over to the Independent and he met us there. We met a couple nice people in line because we had some extra tickets (Gums and Bokoch both bought tickets (Bokoch three) and I had my extra) so we gave our tickets to them and they bought us beers. Not a bad trade…

I’m not going to waste any writing on the openers, just to say that they were something to bare rather than enjoy. I had seen John Vanderslice before, but only as an opener for Pedro the Lion and, of course, solo on my radio show. This was my first time seeing him for his band and since I bought albums and became familiar with some of his music.

(Before JV even came on, I saw that Ian Bjornstad would be playing a converted Wurlitzer 206A with the top removed from the base. After the show I saw him outside of the club and as I was walking past I pointed to him and said “Nice 206A!” He laughed.)

JV and co. (they were calling themselves John Vanderslice and the Photographs for this tour) went only pretty late, I guess close to 11:40. I was a bit restless by then, but the music settled me down pretty quickly. One thing that I noticed immediately was how good it sounded, which other people have noted. He toured with his own sound engineer and religiously does sound checks at every venue. They were also finishing up a 20-some date tour so they were really tight. JV and the rest seemed to be just so happy to be home. Dave Broecker, the bass player, sang harmonies and was spot on in both pitch and matching JV’s voice. It basically sounded like JV was doing his own harmonies. Matt Cunitz who plays a lot of the crazy keyboards like mellotron and celeste on JV’s records was not touring with the band, but brought a few keyboards and played with them for the night.

They played a marathon set. Not Bruce Springsteen-marathon, but 24 or so songs and 1.5 hours. JV announced quite a bit through the set that he didn’t like encores so he was just going to play every song the band new and then stop playing. They played a wide range of songs, but a lot from the last two, so I was familiar with most of them. I’m having a hard time at this point recalling which were my favorites of the night. He didn’t play what are quite possibly my two favorites from Pixel Revolt, which are “Peacocks in a Video Rain” and “Dead Slate Pacific.” That might be the only negative point of the whole night.

Besides the concert being awesome the big bonus for the night was that they were recording the show that night and that it’d be up on JV’s site sometime in December. I’ll link to it once it’s posted.

2 Responses to “John Vanderslice at the Independent 11/5/05 (finally)”

  1. gillian Says:

    OMYGODJVISSOAWESOME. seriously, i’m jealous that he gave you pixel revolt. i had to buy it.

    also, i don’t know, andrew kenny is pretty ridiculously nice.

  2. adrian is rad » Blog Archive » jv at the independent (again) Says:

    […] So I saw John Vanderslice at the Independent again on Friday with Dylan and Gumbeaux. Opening were Laura Veirs and Division Day. The latter was supposed to be Nedelle but she had to cancel, unfortunately. […]

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