This is not a review of the show. I tend to think of a review as analytical and objective. Reviews are good for technical merit, and other such objective, measurable traits. Yes, I could measure the show on such grounds. By doing that, however, I feel it would miss the true magic and emotion of the show. So here’s the review: every artist played a great set. Now that I’m done “reviewing” the show, I’d like to share some thoughts and memories from the show that made it truly special.
• My only complaint with the show is that when Sarah Jaffe sang with Pleasant Grove, I couldn’t hear her vocals. I believe that denying the audience the ability to her Sarah is legally classified as a felony. Fortunately, there were no sound issues when the band closed with “Canopy.” That song is still lingering in my head. “I was there when you took your first steps, and I’ll be there when you take your last.” Marcus Striplin, you are genius personified.
• Jenn Nabb, your rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was the most beautiful vocal performance of the evening. I don’t know whether it touched my heart or broke it. It may have done both. You did the song proud to say the least.
• To Fred from The Felons: For someone who had never played the recorder before, you did a fine job. It was a joy seeing you, and bring your tambourine with you when you play The Cavern with Airline and the cut*off.
• Chris Holt, you were given a blessing by Carter when he shared his guitar tunings with you, allowing you to play some of his new songs. I cannot think of a more worthy musician than you to deserve the honor of performing these new songs.
• My favorite musical moment of the night came when Sorta played “Bring Me the Head of Jose Cuervo.” It took me back in time 2003, when I had my very first birthday show at the original Barley House. I asked Sparrows to play, not expecting them to accept the invitation. I was wrong, as Carter was more than eager to play the show. When it was time for the last song of the evening, he asked me to pick, and I picked “Jose Cuervo.” Towards the end of the song, he handed the mic to me to sing the line from the chorus. The next night, I told him I was sorry for sounding so awful on the mic. He said not to worry, that out in the audience it’s hard to hear yourself and the like. Carter was too kind of a soul to say “Yeah, the reason it sounded bad is that your voice sucks.” But thank you, Sorta, for bringing back one of my fondest memories of Carter.
• Speaking of Sparrows songs, I finally purchase 5nowflake5 at the merch table. I was strongly chastised by one individual for not already owning the album. Actually, I believe he said I needed to state here that “I am an asshole” for not already owning the CD, and that he fully expects a CD review on here. I will say this: after listening to the CD, I feel severely lame for having waited this long to buy it. If you want a more in-depth analysis, then chill out and wait. A masterpiece of an album deserves more than a quickie review. And no, I’m not just throwing out the word “masterpiece.” This is the real deal.
• The slideshows were awesome. It was great hearing Carter in his old band, The Cosmetics. What was even better was hearing the stories from those who knew him best. Some were funny, some were touching, all were inspiring. It makes me regret that I never got the opportunity to know the man better.
• Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night came when Carter’s father, Ken Albrecht took the stage. Through this tragedy, he has handled himself with grace, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the man. I have no doubt that much of what people loved in Carter he learned from his father.
One final note: I was thrilled to see so many familiar faces at Granada that evening. Some of these people I see almost every weekend, others I have not seen in what feels like years. For as much as the music was incredible (and it was), what was even more special was the sense of community I felt. Carter had many opportunities to leave Dallas, but the love he had for his friends, family, and even the city is what kept him here. To have the music community unite for this concert is perhaps the best way to pay respect to the man.