The opening act was Sean Hayes, not to be confused with the guy from Will & Grace, who although he got points for having an accordian player, was over-working the whiny vibrato, slightly pretentious, singer/song-writer thing, just a little much for my taste.
First of all, for those who want to know, YES! Jolie Holland was there and she did sing a few numbers with them including "The Littlest Birds", but she didn't bring a fiddle and no one seemed to have one. Also, if you saw her body language while she was on-stage you might have gotten the impression that she wasn't all that thrilled to be there. She also seemed very concerned with losing her hand bag. I wasn't sure why they needed her because her vocal style is very similar to Frazy Ford's, with the very wispy sound that seems to come from the back teeth. (Sort of the same thing that used to annoy me about Edie Brickell.)
Mr. Karaokegal had really, really been looking forward to this show. He LOVES the Be Goods, Jolie Holland and Po Girl. He ended the night extremely disappointed. I, honestly wasn't expecting that much, so I wasn't quite as disturbed.
Here's the thing: Not all good bands are good live bands. And any band where the sound is all that twee and precious, to me, ain't gonna be a good live band. Pretty to listen to the music at home, sure, but not worth a night out and never mind how much money.
Just for example, The Stairwell Sisters, no matter where we see them, even if it's a small venue, with lousy sound, THEY PUT ON A SHOW!!!! Lots of energy, jokes, clog-dancing, up-tempos, killer-harmonies, etc etc. Either the Tanyas were having a really bad night, or they're particular brand of music has gotten so far from either real old tyme or blue-grass that there's no room for that kind of FUN. At no time did anyone onstage appear to be having fun.
According to Hubby, they seemed to be very disorganized about the playlist, uncomfortable on stage, embarassed, unprofessional etc. I thought maybe they were just suffering from road fever, and was willing to cut some slack, but again, I wasn't expecting that much. At one point, Frazey actually said that she felt humiliated being there.
My biggest problem was a definitely lack of energy from both the band and the audience. The band wasn't helping matters. The girls were hardly communicating with their drummer and bassist. Tempos were completely muddy. Since most of their songs are in that lugubrious, mid-tempo range, I don't know exactly how they could have created energy, but there had to be something.
A bunch of people kept calling for "Light Enough To Travel" and Frazy said emphatically "NO!" and they never did play it, which struck me as showing some level of non-love between band and audience. I'm not saying you have to play every request, but...I don't know, it was just weird.
The last time Jolie came out, for the 2nd encore, her mike wasn't even on, but it looked like her and Trish (I think it was Trish. Is that the brunette with the sultry 40's vibe?)were trying to console eachother for something gone horribly awry.
After the last encore, Obo Martin, who wrote the song "Be Good Tanya" came out. He has some pretty wild looking white-boy dreads or else he just doesn't comb/wash his hair very much. He started out with a very long poem in Irish dialect and then sang "Be Good Tanya." That was the end of the show.
I told Hubby, I was picking the next concert we go to see.