You know this awkward feeling when you arrive at a venue, where a really great musician will play that night, and in front of the venue is - nobody?
Yeah - I hate that as well. When I went down the stairs to the Ampere Club I was alone - partly because none of my local friends was really interested, partly because the only people I really want to be with me at a Black Crowes or like in this case Black Crowes related show are my sister and some longtime friends who live (very) far away. So I was okay with being alone that cold evening, but I was absolutely not okay with that deserted space in front of the club, entrance and inside of the club.
I mean Munich - seriously??? I love living here, but Munich is not exactly a Blues town and sometimes I simply hate that. Some hipster teenagers can sell out big clubs easily and Rich Robinson has to play in front of less than 100 people? You kidding me? But I am afraid Munich was very serious about it because at least half of the people who finally made it in there, were not even local but came over from Austria or other parts of Bavaria. I was embarrassed to have Rich playing in this environment and in front of a not only small, but in some parts really weird crowd (yes, I am pointing at you - the very drunk couple that danced but for real gave a shit about the music). I cannot blame him at all that he left right after finishing the show - I did not feel like staying either.
To make the night even more fun I stumbled after entering the club into the next awkward moment. When I wanted to check my coat, I realized that I was equipped with two cellphones (don't ask ...), a Panasonic digital camera, a Kindle eBook reader, a bottle of nose spray and my keys. No purse, no money, no train ticket, no credit card - nothing. YIKES! I think I was so lost in the memory of countless Black Crowes concerts that I did not focus when I was packing my bag. Shit. For a second I considered just going home, but people leaving before the show does not exactly make it nicer for the musician. I also really wanted to hear Rich play and so I was staying, but boy - did I feel uncomfortable even without a cold bottle of beer to play around in my hands standing in that almost empty club. Sometimes ... a night is just not working out.
But now let's talk some music.
The Irish musician Dave O'Grady is touring with Rich and opening for him - not a pleasant job that Tuesday night, but Dave really made the best out of it and brought some much needed warmth and sound to the place.
He played his pretty straight forward, bluesy singer-songwriter tunes and I liked his clear, strong voice. I personally started relaxing a little bit and slowly got in the mood for live music. Dave even managed to get a bit in contact and interaction with the farouche crowd. Good job!
I would have LOVED to buy his CD he was selling for 5 EUR only - an amount I easily pay to support a good musician and I would have liked to hear more of his music, but well ... like I told you already I did not even have a buck for a beer. Sorry Dave :(
During the recent hiatus of The Black Crowes Rich Robinson released a very fine record called "Through A Crooked Sun", which I strongly recommend to everybody who loves blues rock, excellent guitar music and the style of songwriting that carried the Crowes for over 20 years.
I love the record and I was - despite feeling so uncomfortable at the venue - really looking forward to hear and see Rich play guitar.
And it's amazing - after all these years it needs just a few notes to draw me in again. I just love this kind of music and while other people (with a smaller attention span ;) hate extended jam sessions expanding a simple song to 10 minutes musical adventure I absolutely love to be carried away by the music.
Of course a first class musician like Rich is not touring with a couple of random musician, but with an excellent band, I really enjoyed listening to. My personal favorite was keyboarder Steve Molitz, who seems to be a really nice guy and played some great tunes.
The few seriously enthusiastic people in the audience cheered as much as they could and Rich and his band played a very solid two-hour-set. Just like Rich said: "We are here, so why not play a couple of more songs."
The sheet of paper here is the setlist of the show. If you want to see it in detail, please just click on the image for an enlarged version.
My two most favorite tunes of the night were "Falling Again" and "Standing On The Surface Of The Sun".
All right dear readers, IF you like this kind of music and Rich Robinson plays a show near your home - go and enjoy this musical delicacy!
More shows in Europe and in the US to come. Check out http://richrobinson.net for details.