Sunday, September 2, 2007

Happy (Belated) Birthday to Me

I’ve wanted to do this post for awhile, but I’ve been waiting for video from my birthday shows to be uploaded. My friend Amy has finally uploaded her videos to YouTube, so now seemed like the right time for to reflect on the awesomeness which was my birthday weekend.

Friday night’s show at the Granada Theater started with Rahim Quazi. There was only one problem with the set: I wasn’t there for it. The good news is that I got to see him play Saturday at Barley House. The bad news is that I missed seeing him play live with Chris Holt. In case you missed it too, this it what it looked and sounded like:

Rahim Quazi - Coffeebreak

Next on the lineup was Johnny Lloyd Rollins. I don’t think I missed more than one song by him, and I was definitely there when he sang this little ditty. Props to my friend Amy for recording this:

Johnny Lloyd Rollins - Let's Be Poor Together

The Slack was next, and as always, he put on a great show. There’s a reason he keeps winning the “Best Musician” award at the DOMA’s. He’s just that good. I have a theory about Mr. Holt, however. I’m convinced he has no bones in his fingers. Next time you go to a Slack show, watch his hands. The only way hands can move that quickly is if there are no bones in them. He closed his set with “What’s to Come”, a song that got me dancing with the ever wonderful and beautiful Camille Cortinas of Fishing For Comets. I wish I could post that video, but since it wasn’t taped (or at least posted on YouTube), here’s another tasty Slack gem for you:

The Slack - Leaving Chicago

I’ve been watching Salim Nourallah perform for the past seven years, but never have I seen perform a set as good as Friday night at Granada. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he had an all star cast supporting him. Seeing Salim play with his former Happiness Factor band mate Paul Averitt was like being transported into a time machine to 2001 or so. John Dufilho (Deathray Davies, Apples in Stereo) managed to fill in on drums for a few songs, and anytime he’s onstage, the song is guaranteed to sound better. However, the real stars of the set were Salim’s songs. The new album, Snowing in My Heart, shows Salim at the top of his game. Here’s one of my faves from the CD:

Salim Nourallah - Erased

I felt badly for Radiant. I would absolutely HATE to have to follow the killer set by Salim. Radiant was unphased, and managed to perform a solid set of catchy tunes such as this (sorry, I don’t know the name of this song):

The following night, Barley House was the place to be. Rahim Quazi played a set good enough to make me forget that I missed his set the night before. He dug out several old favorites of mine like “Almost Home” and “Fallen Star” (where he was accompanied by Josh Hoover of Chemistry Set), and then played several songs of his upcoming CD, Supernatural. Based on the songs he played, the only reason I could see that CD not ending up on my 10 best of the year list is if it gets postponed until next year. Alas, no Rahim video from Barley House :(

The cut*off were next, and they rocked my socks off. If you were there and your socks weren’t rocked off, seek immediate medical help. As if that wasn’t cool enough, Jenn Nabb joined them onstage for “Shanghai-ed” and their cover of Pixies’ “Monkey Gone to Heaven”. The show had such a strong effect that one guy out in the audience felt compelled to jump onstage at the end of “Adults We Know” and burst into a tambourine solo. What can I say; weird things happen at my birthday show. And again, no cut*off video either. If you have video of either of these sets, please email me with the video or a link to the video (you can find my email addy thru my profile page here).

To finish off the festivities, Chemistry Set played some old favorites (“New Hope PA”, “Beautiful Tragedy”), new favorites (“World”), and turned old favorites into new favorites again (their new version of “I Do” puts the rock into the song, and it’s like hearing the song for the first time). They even busted out some Nirvana (again, video courtesy of Amy):

The Chemistry Set - Smells Like Teen Spirit

And so concludes this reminiscence of my birthday shows. Can’t wait for next year! Only 358 days until my next 25th birthday.

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