Friday, November 21, 2008

CONCERT: Mason Jennings Still Rocks My Socks

I saw Mason Jennings last night at the Murray Theater and though I wasn't planning on giving a report, I'm afraid I just can't contain myself.

He was in as good of form as I've ever seen him, and after his somewhat short and less-than-enthused show last May, it was a real treat. He played a good mix of new and old tunes which just showcased how consistently solid his songwriting really is. In fact, after hearing just about all the tracks off this year's In The Ever, I realized that I haven't been giving that record the spin it deserves. In particular, the song My Perfect Lover sounded fuller and all-around more affecting last night than it did in May - and what I once considered a somewhat forgettable track has now become one of the album's highlights for me (note: this is why I love live music).

Long-time concert favorites The Mountain and Bullet were again left out of the set - and surprisingly, I wasn't the least bit disappointed. His catalog has expanded such that he can pull from any of his records to put together a fantastic show - and some of his jauntier new numbers like Soldier Boy and I Love You and Buddha Too, along with new live staples Your New Man and Fighter Girl, leave very little lacking. He played old favorites as well as a couple of new songs inspired by his recent involvement in an environmental documentary - one a call to arms to save the planet, and the other a light-hearted look at all the ways we might die. Both were pretty great.

Here's the set list:

(solo) Memphis, Tennessee / Nothing / Keepin it Real

(w/band) Butterfly / Living in the Moment / Ulysses / Jackson Square / I Love You and Buddha Too / Never Knew Your Name-Going Back to New Orleans / Birds Flying Away

(solo) Your New Man / Darkness Between the Fireflies / Don't Let The World Go Black (new) / So Many Ways to Die (new) / Hospitals and Jails

(w/band + Zach Gill) Fighter Girl / Be Here Now / Soldier Boy / Don't Touch My Stuff (Zach Gill song) / Sorry Signs on Cash Machines / Crown

(encore) In Your City / How Deep is that River / My Perfect Lover

Mason's down-to-earth manner and rumbling vocal style will never get old for me. Add his brilliant and beautiful songwriting as well as a humble (but rocking) live sensibility - and I think you'll understand why I love this guy so much.

Zach Gill opened, and despite his Hallmark-card lyricism he put on a pretty dang entertaining set - complete with piano/djembe antics, funny-white-man ukulele dancing, and a take on The Devil Went Down to Georgia on the accordian (all this while being unabashedly lovable). Zach also added some keys to Mason's set, rounding out songs like Be Here Now, Fighter Girl, and Sorry Signs on Cash Machines (which, by the way, was the best I have ever heard that song performed. Ever. Wow.)

Mason Jennings - Sorry Signs on Cash Machines
from the album Century Spring (Amazon/iTunes)

Mason Jennings - My Perfect Lover
from the album In The Ever (Amazon/iTunes)

1 comment:

dancethemagic said...

When they started playing this song, I melted. Good thing I emailed Brushfire Records to put in a few requests...