Things I have never seen at First Avenue until last night:
1. A crowd rapt with attention, hanging on every word someone is speaking.
2. Chairs on the floor. And no one felt the urge to toss them around.
3. Someone learning to play the Jackson 5 – I Want You Back on stage.
I loved nearly every minute of Paul Westerberg’s edition of ‘The Craft’. You can complain all you want about the ever-present corporate sponsorship, the lack of more songs, the lack of choice of beers, and the body odor of the person beside you… but really, I think we got something unique that night. Something you don’t get from a regular ‘show’. You get to see how much passion Paul has for his baseball team. (note to Carl Pohlad, resign Torii Hunter. I think he’s serious about the brick throwing). How he has written songs in different tunings and never known what key they were in until your bass player tells you much later. You get to hear what brought about writing a new song called Everyone’s Stupid. You get to hear Lush & Green.
I was paying close attention, not only because the PA was on the quiet side for the interview, along with the 500 or so others there. I looked around at one point and was awed by how everyone was glued to it. It is a very eclectic and amazing bunch (fistful) of weirdos. The conversations had and overheard before and after the show are something you don’t get in a lot of places. But at First Ave on a night with a show like this, people are on the same page (or at least the same section of the library) and you are likely to bump into a kindred spirit around every corner.
And I’m thankful I bumped into a lot of kindred spirits. I met a lot of great people, hung out a bunch, and generally had a huge smile on my face all night. I may have accidently hugged Scooter as well. But that may have had more to do with multiple Black & Tans.
If I didn’t get a chance to run into you, sorry I missed you, but say hey here and let us know what you thought of the whole shindig. And maybe I will see some of you at Jim Walsh’s book release party in November…..