Monday, March 02, 2009

Last Thursday night; playin' hooky from school and goin' down to Austin.

What a wonderful evening it was! Denise and I left home around 4PM and got down to Austin in about an hour. All the jammed up traffic was headed north, so we had an easy time of it.

First off, we went to Pappasito's (again) and had a celebratory dinner before the gig.

As usual, it started with chips and salsa, and drinks all around.

The chips were then augmented by the best queso around, with the spicy grilled beef mixed in.

We saw this on the table, and it was an easy sell. I'd had this with Mom and sis the last time I came, a week earlier!

Mmmm, good. We shared one plate, and I got myself another plate of Brochette shrimp on the side.

I can't hit the place without getting these. WONDERFUL!

Doesn't it just make your mouth water? Anyway, after eating we got back on I-35 and drove down to 7th street and started to look for parking. Found it easily, only two blocks from the Theater.

We walked over to Congress Av. and got into the Paramount Theater in time to get our next few drinks. We'd never been there before, so the place had us a bit awestruck for a while. Once you walk in you'll find yourself in the foyer, where the stairs will lead up to the balcony. Our seats were excellent. Front row center of the balcony, or as close to it as you can get without sitting in the aisle.

I walked back up to the top of the balcony to get these shots, then merged them. The theater's been there since about 1912, and it shows the influence of that older time. The architecture is stunning.

There's even a relic from the old days. You see that hole in the ceiling, to the left of the lady with the harp? An usher told me they call that the "Houdini Hole". Sounds kinda rude, don't it? Apparently, Houdini performed there and needed to hole cut in the ceiling for a prop. I guess they decided to leave it there. History, after all.

The lead up act was Sharon Little, a wonderful singer from Philly, who's accompanied by a great guitar player named Scott Sax. You can see him there, stompin' his foot on that round, hollow wooden platform and jigglin' that tambourine with one foot as he plays and beats out a rhythm on the guitar. I told Denise all he needed was a kazoo and he'd be a one man band. Their performance was amazing, but we knew it would be. These folks opened the Nokia theater for Robert Plant and Allison Krouss when we saw them last year. They were great then, and they've only seemed to improve since. Here's a taste.

So, when the main act hit the stage, we'd already been given a great show. It only got better from there.

At one point, about half way through the gig, Lang welcomed local Austin resident Eric Johnson on stage and the two went through a great Blues tune. I think it was a John Lee Hooker tune, or Bo Diddly. Can't remember. It kicked ass though, for about ten or twelve minutes.

A HUGE highlight of the show was his acoustic version of Lie To Me. Here's a video from another gig that shows you what we saw. Forgive the caddywampus angle at the start. they musty have been too busy havin' a good time to realize they had their camera turned sideways. This sounds EXACTLY like what we heard, audience reaction included. Nothin' like seein' someone like this in a small venue.

Mmmmmm, that was just amazing.

After that little acoustic experience, we were back to enjoying the sort of stuff this guy can do with an electric guitar. Here's a jumble, giving you a taste of this talent. That's the same back up band we saw.

In the end, the show ran about three hours, and there wasn't much anyone could say against it. The lighting was excellent, and the sound was first rate. It was pleasingly loud, but my ears didn't ring after the fact.

The only problem I had was with the ushers. They were wonderful, till the main act came on stage. We were set up for prime picture taking, but as soon as Lang hit the stage they were on me like glue. No pictures allowed. Meanwhile, some fat bitch behind me was taking one flash shot after another and never got busted. So, even though I had a friggin' balcony to rest the camera on, ensuring good, clear shots without my flash, I only ended up getting really good, clear shots of the opening act.

Oh well, what can ya do? I'll try to do better this Friday when I see Derek Trucks at the Granada in Dallas. Cheers!


Sarge Charlie said...

How did you stay awake for the show after all that food, I could have helped you out with some of it.

I am up to page 14 of my life story, doing it for my daughter. I think you would enjoy reading it.

FHB said...

Cool! I'll check it out.