Thursday, August 30, 2012

Maktub with Shawn Smith, Allen Stone and The Silent Comedy play the Face in the Mirror show

A friend on the Esat coast that I've never met (don't you just love social media?) pointed out that there was a free show at the Moore Theater in Seattle with Maktub and Allan Stone, two local acts that I've wanted to see but never had the chance. The show included a screening of Boyd Tinsley's film "Faces in the Mirror" and live performances, sounded like my kind of deal, so I filled out the web form and got a couple of tickets for Dana and myself and planned to go later Thursday evening.
Turns out my plan was a little messed up. The show was being simulcast to several theaters across the US, including the East coast, and the show started at 8 PM EST. I failed to notice the EST, we run on PST in Seattle of course. So the show was at 5 PM PST, and we were late getting there. I figured out the actual timing a few hours ahead of time, but by the time Dana could get down to the office to pick me up and we made it to the theater the film was almost over. I'll have to watch it later when it's more widely available, the bit I saw was interesting and the music was cool, but it was opaque - we had no idea what was going on.

We were in time for the music, though. They had Allen Stone come out to play a couple of songs while the streaming version of the music - seen at the other theaters - finished up. Apparently only those of us in the Moore theater got to see this bit - you really did have to be there! Allen Stone has a powerful expressive voice, and nice acoustic guitar technique. I can see why he's getting a fair amount of attention, his songs were great.

After a couple of songs the live stream had caught up and the Silent Comedy came out to do a live streamed performance for us and the audiences at the other theaters. Nice sound, guitar, bass, drums and a banjo - you don't see or hear banjos a whole lot outside of folky/blue grass settings, I like a variety and difference so I enjoyed it. On the next song the banjo player swapped to a mandolin, if my eyes weren't fooling me. We were up in the balcony and my vision isn't great so, they may have been fooled; I din't video tape that song so I can't check.
For the Silent Comedy's final number Boyd Tinsely joined them: They did a cover of Neil Young's "Tonight's the Night" - it was a good week for Neil Young covers.

Next Allen Stone came out for the official "streamed live" performance. After a few songs as he was unplugging the MC came out and said "Don't unplug that guitar" and spoke to him for a moment, then Boyd Tinsley came out and they talked for a few seconds and I started up the video camera, catching them doing a cover of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" Another impressive song, I really like Stone's vocals and Boyd's violin worked well; based on Allen Stone's comment I don't think they got to rehearse, which makes it more impressive still.

Next up was Maktub with Shawn Smith. Reggie Watts sang with Maktub a while back, and the Thaddeus, Maktub's guitarist has released some material as "Thaddillac." The Maktub lineup with Shawn Smith singing and playing keys was impressive.The songs were quite long, this one is 11:30 or so, and they were symphonic in the sense that they had different movements, sections that changed yet repeated themese - not so much just verse/chorus/verse, actual progressions and changes in dynamics that stood out - I liked the approach, it's unusual today. The instrumentals from Maktub were carefully structured, they felt well rehearsed and very tasty. Thaddeus' lead guitars with that trademark stratocaster sound, crunchy yet ringing with infinite sustain also contributed hugely to my enjoyment. With the long songs they only did a few and my video recorder quickly ran out of storage. I got one more song, and then the first 3 minutes or so of the final number where Boyd Tinsley and the Silent Comedy also came out to join them: It was a great show and I caught performers I'd never seen before which I always like. Talented musicians in a great venue with both good sight lines and excellent sound, I'm not sure my video does them justice but I sure enjoyed it!

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