Philadelphia, NYC and Albany

Free time and internet connections have been scarce the past few days so please forgive me for not posting.  On Wednesday, we played the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.  Located near the University of Pennsylvania, the WCL is in the same building as WXPN which has always been kind to the Volt.  In 2007 we played a free lunch hour concert there as part of a promotional jaunt for The Search.  That time, our friend and personal fishmonger Jason, brought us a giant platter of seafood (clams casino, shrimp cocktail, oysters, etc.) to be enjoyed post-show.  Jason out did himself on Wednesday:

IMG_4217IMG_4221IMG_4219Thanks Jason!  No one is quite sure if he brought the birthday cake as well.  If so, thanks again.

IMG_4224

By all accounts, the show went great.  Being that it’s fairly new and clean, the World Cafe is a little lacking in atmosphere.  Typically we play the Trocadero but that has it’s own problems, namely, you can’t drink on the ground floor so all the drinkers tend to congregate on the second floor balcony.  I suppose if we could figure how to sell out the place this wouldn’t be a problem.

Even though we gorged ourselves on sushi in Philadelphia, James, Andrew and I found ourselves at a Japanese restaurant before Thursday night’s show at Irving Plaza.  I highly recommend the grilled sea bass at Sushi Choshi which is just a few blocks from the venue.

The gig in New York was mostly a success.  Although I’m confident that the sound in the house was solid, on stage it was loud and lacking in definition.  Also, for some reason the lighting director decided to black out the stage in the middle of a song.  Not sure what that was about.

Being that we were in NYC, we all stayed out too late and paid dearly the next day.  Jay had it the worst, however, as he had to be up early to play on the radio.

Luckily, the show in Albany was a mellow one.  We played The Egg:

IMG_0647The Egg is located in the same plaza as all the government buildings.  There doesn’t seem to be too much activity in the plaza and I had to keep telling myself that it was not Sunday and I was not in the Planet of the Apes.  Although The Egg is an architectural marvel, it is not very rock ‘n roll.  Had we not just played a bunch of theaters and performing arts centers back in July, we might have appreciated the change of pace but instead we said, “boring”.  To it’s credit, The Egg sounded crystal clear on stage from where I was sitting.  I enjoyed being able to hear everything until I realized I could hear everything!  We played “Looking at the World Through a Windshield” which we haven’t done for a week or so.  Thankfully, the lights in the house were kept low so I couldn’t tell what was going on in the audience but it sure was quiet between songs.  In the end, it wasn’t bad but I think James said it best when he called it the “anti-gig.”

Albany Rocking!Jay & Dave

Sera Cahoone

Sera

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Philadelphia, NYC and Albany

  1. smcl992005

    Hello,
    I was at the Albany show and I have to agree with you regarding how quiet, we as the audience, were. You mentioned that the sound was crystal clear on stage. Out in the audience, both my wife and I remarked that the sound was a little loud, especially the guitars. We had trouble hearing Jay’s voice and we could hardly hear the keyboards. Perhaps it was due to the acoustics in the theatre. Anyhow, I want to thank you for playing in Albany. Despite the sound issues I enjoyed the show immensely and thought you played really well. It is hard to play in front of an unresponsive crowd and I thought you guys were excellent. Good luck on the rest of your tour and thanks for making some great music.
    Sean M.

    • David Bryson

      Thanks for coming and enjoying the show. Oftentimes, the problem with those theaters is they were designed to project acoustic instruments and electric instruments are too loud especially if you are sitting close to the stage. I’m not sure where you were seated but I can’t stress it enough that the best sound is usually in the center about 50 or so feet away from the stage for the size of places we tend to play. Of course, it can vary and some clubs just don’t sound good.

  2. jay128

    Hi Dave,

    We saw you at Irving Plaza (NYC) and from where we stood (up front) you guys sounded great, as did Sera Cahoone. Excellent show all around.

  3. arambler8

    The DC, Philly, and NYC shows were phenomenal. Thanks for the music.

  4. antelope850

    Hanging out with fishmonger Jason got me backstage before the Philly show, where Andrew was very gracious offering me some of that amazing sushi platter above. Glad the rest of you guys got to enjoy it post show. Jason did bring the cake.

    Sound was great in DC, Philly and NYC. Really enjoyed the shows.

    You should check out the review of the Egg show in the Albany Times Union. It’s not a very good review of the show (although interesting to read the writer’s theme of the show being too slow after reading your report above), but the writer says great things about your drumming.

    • David Bryson

      Obviously that reviewer wasn’t a fan being that he referred to James as Chris Masterson. And, I have to admit that our set is sometimes a fans only set. Sure, we might win people over here and there but rarely do we win over a music journalist who is not totally familiar with the band.

      Thanks for coming to the shows.

  5. smcl992005

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for replying to my questioning of the sound. I agree that the Egg is more of a place for plays and other types of shows.

    Regardless of the sound issues, it was still great to see and hear you guys live. I’ve been a fan of Son Volt from the start and I got my wife hooked onto you so I surprised her with tickets to this show for our anniversary. So thank you for playing in Albany.

  6. bennyprofane

    Hi,

    Regarding the sound in The Egg, it was horrible. The bass was way too loud, the vacals and keyboard too soft. Everything sounded muddy. I was sitting just left of center, not too far back. My friend was on the right and he had the same reaction.

    Regarding the audience, lameness seems to happen in the capital district all too often, not sure why. But I have to say, you guys never even really said hello. Maybe the setting is not conducive for the audience or the performers. Sorry for being a downer.

    Thought you guys played well, though. Guess I’ll try to catch you in a big city next time and not Smallbany.

    • David Bryson

      Well, thanks for coming. Don’t know what more to say about the sound. Sorry we weren’t more hospitable. See you next time.

  7. jxx4

    totally agree about the LOUSY, CRAP SOUND that is guaranteed at shows in Northampton’s Pearl St Nightclub.
    the painful listening experience in Northampton during the ’07 Son Volt show
    and during many other shows i’ve attended
    was reason enought to travel 2.5 hrs further away to see the latest tour
    at the most awesome architecture that is THE EGG
    where the sound was crytal clear
    unfortunate that it felt like the anti-gig
    yes, the audience did not seem very responsive in Albany
    but you sounded great (from 2nd row)
    and i thoroughly enjoyed the show – could not sit still all night
    will travel again to see you at the egg ANY TIME instead of Northampton
    rock on
    ps: sorry to hear that the dreaded bed bugs got you and yours in Northampton
    another reason to not visit N’hamton

    • David Bryson

      I can only imagine how bad the show in ’07 was considering we were much louder then. Very glad you enjoyed the Egg show. In defense of the audience at the EGG, I don’t expect anyone to get up and hoot and holler during a sit-down theater show. Lord knows, I don’t when I go to one. I don’t blame the audience, it’s just the nature of those type of gigs and we know what it’s going to be like before we even step on stage so it’s hard to get stoked. I’m glad the sound was great out front and I’m surprised to hear otherwise from other attendees. Regardless of the sound in Northampton, I think it was a great show. Hope to see you again and thanks for the sympathy with the bed bugs. Ugh!

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