It's a fact that T-Rexes love Spafford. I hear a lot of questions like "Why T-rex? What does that have to do with the band or the music?" And to that I say: "T-Rexes don't answer questions! They're here to rage Spafford!" If you'd like to summon your inner T-Rex, the following is a beginner's guide. So enjoy, but keep the chomping to a minimum or I'll chomp your face off!
Thursday, aka Official Cape Business
2017-11-09 - The Ogden Theater, Denver, CO
When we arrived Thursday, it was a bit of a rocky start. The plan was to crash at a Spaffriend's house for the weekend. Unfortunately, we had the wrong address because the space wook I arrived with didn't confirm the address until after we had been dropped off. So, T-rex and the space wook had to walk a mile through down town Denver with all the luggage to get to the actual place where our friend lives. I admit I was hangry when I finally arrived, but T-rex does her best to not eat her friends, especially when they let you crash at their place. There was a sweet pickle reunion as soon as we arrived!
I'm not sure why my friend and I both have these pickles. Some creepy wook we met at the Last Exit Halloween shows sent them to us because according to this wook, "These pickles are Lopez AF!"
After devouring some tourists we met up with the Wisco Bros and went to some bar to see some soundcheck jams. It was pretty solid. Then hung out with the Red Side Bread Side crew until the show, during which time we learned about docking. Seriously, if you don't know what docking is, look it up. It was all the rage this weekend.
The show itself was great, although at set break some sassy wook got backstage by convincing security he was with the band because he had a cape and was on "Official cape business". Okay, the wook did get a hug from Red, so maybe that cape business was legit. Later, the same sassy wook was mooing during Salamander's off beats. WTF, who moos during a song? The crowd was really into the show, except for the chomper behind us screaming her full childhood backstory of how her sister was mean to her and now she has no self-confidence. Obviously. You're yelling this over some great jams, so she clearly messed you up. Somebody had to help her, so I ate her. Then I went into a rage coma because the music was so amazing that I don't quite remember what happened next. I bet it was hot fiyah though and I can't wait for it to get Nugged! Next thing I know, I'm back at my friend's house where this girl Ali is yelling about Dry HJ Purgatory. “Dry HJs for eternity!!!”
Friday- aka We're Coming for You FoCo! Aka Full Sass Night Number 1
2017-11-10 - The Aggie Theater, Fort Collins, CO
We set out Friday for Fort Collins, bringing along Josh to help us stock up for the night ahead of us.
We found a pretty sweet air bnb close to downtown, which could have been made more awesome by the following list of suggestions:
The sassy wook showed up at the air bnb and despite the previous night's shenanigans, did improve the place by hooking up his light-up shower head. I was into it; this wook knew what was up. I requested to see this wook go Full Sass Mode and he obliged. Woo! Ooooh, sorry for wooing, I forgot that's frowned upon. I've gotta say, that sassy wook knows how to go Full Sass! Did you see those sparkle shorts and sweet leggings?!
The show was even better than the previous night, despite the obnoxious chompers Steph and I had to roar at. Speaking of Steph, girl make sure you don't throw stickers at the band. Brian doesn't like stickers to the face. Thanks (Nicole) for that sexy reprise. Idk what happened next but I'm sure it was hot fiya! Check it out when it gets Nugged!
Ride home was lit! We broke out some disco dicks for the Lyft driver because disco dicks make everything better. That Sassy Wook freaked out the lyft driver with his Creepy Pete and the Penetrators impersonation after the ride.
You can see the driver backing away, not sure how to handle all that sassy energy.
There was some negative energy back at the air bnb because no one was following the house rules and Josh was getting cranky. Situation improved when Jordan showed up. Lopez fanboyed Jordan, didn't even say anything to him, just stood there staring at him. I, on the other hand, yelled at Jordan. T-rex wants that sweater back, Jordan! We finished the night shotgunning White Claws and Ali falling off the couch. I munched on some late night torsos before I went to bed. All in all, a very good night.
Saturday(s are for the boys)
2017-11-11 - Globe Hall, Denver, CO
Ugh, 3 days are tough for T-Rex, but according to @SassyPete (aka that sassy wook), we were "Popped, locked, and ready to dock!"(I told you docking was all the rage). The day started out promising. It was a brunch with the CO crew at some trendy brunch place. We tried to exchange I'm Killing It stickers for food but the server wasn't really going for it. Nevertheless, the tequila shots (thanks Josh) were a fantastic start to day 3. After brunch, it was a short tour of all Denver had to offer before heading to the meet and greet.
VIP at the Aggie! We met the band! I didn't yell at anyone this time (give me back that sweater!) and actually hugged everyone, which is super difficult and usually awkward with my short T-Rex arms. I was very impressed by the Red Side Bread Side.
You know they only brought the bread to throw at the band but I think they were talked out of it. Speaking of throwing things, that was the most aggressive glow stick throwing I've ever seen! Going to the front of the stage and throwing them into the crowd is the worst idea ever! Most interesting moment of the night was the nerd herd. Sassy Pete and the bread crew crushed it with the cow masks.
If you missed that moment, it was pure gold. Also, shout out to the Dream Jammer, Andrew Hilston for summoning that awesome Dream Jam. And shout out to Hilston for giving us this cat fail video later that same night.
You're killing it! And while we're talking about cats, turns out Simon and Lily is a song about cats. That's right, cats. I was definitely over-stimulated by that point, so the rest is a little hazy, but can't wait for that fiyah show to get Nugged!
Fast forward to the after party, night two of Full Sass Mode, and more cats (thanks John)! Three night runs are tough on a T-Rex so at this point it was time for bed. The next morning, my driver showed up 20 minutes early so I bit his head off. Thanks for the heady feast Colorado. I'm back in Arizona and the best thing is we get to do this all over again next week in Flagstaff. Can't wait to see you Nerds there!
Before delving into this review, a little background is in order. Any concert review is by definition personal in nature and the peak experience I had at the Fort Collins show is the result of a unique combination of factors. I discovered Spafford sometime in 2016, the result of a continuing effort to listen to new improvisational rock bands. Someone actually conducted an online study that determined that people stop listening to new music at age 33, but I’m trying to not let my ears go stale, even though I’m a decade past that deadline date -- old enough to have seen Jerry Garcia play with the Grateful Dead, to have watched Phish grow from a club band to playing MSG and to have seen bands like String Cheese Incident and moe. improve, peak and plateau.
One of the things that struck me initially about Spafford was their dynamic range, versatility, and songwriting. Here was a band that could deliver blistering rock and roll, incorporate electronic elements at times, but wasn’t afraid to engage in patient exploration in small bars. I liked Red’s presence in the mix and was obviously impressed by Brian's guitar-playing talent. When someone on a message board shared Cabin Jam 2, I realized these guys had a gift for collective improvisation that equaled or exceeded many bands that had been playing together for much longer.
I truly believe in the transformative power of live music. However, my life is very different than it was two decades ago when I had no responsibilities and could jump on tour and catch a run of shows at will. My family demands combined with the birth of my twin sons means that every show I can squeeze in is a gift. I have to hope that on the night I can get away, a band is "on". As I jokingly tell my 5-year-old daughter, "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit." That doesn't mean I'm not critical if a band doesn't live up to expectations, but I try to be grateful every time I get to a show.
Over the past year, I listened to A LOT of Spafford recordings and grew extremely familiar with their catalog. In March, I saw them for the first time at Hodi’s Hideout in Fort Collins, a sold-out bar show that had some solid moments, but was a bit inconsistent (unfortunately, no recording has yet been made available).
When Fall Tour was announced, my original plan was to attend the Ogden Theater show, but when the Fort Collins show was added I opted for the Aggie instead as it’s only a 40-minute drive from my house up the road in Wyoming. I was even happier about my decision after seeing the Ogden setlist, which was missing most of my favorite material and seemed to be more song-oriented with special guests. I was also fervently hoping that they wouldn’t be too tired on their 4th show in a row and 8th in 9 nights. It turns out I had nothing to worry about.
The Aggie is hardly a charming venue, basically a giant box with a bar in the back and a capacity of 650. It’s known to get very hot in there when it’s packed, and while the venue was pretty full, it wasn’t sold-out and the floor had enough room to move comfortably. After putting my kids to bed, I drove down to meet my friend Eric, who had driven up from north Denver to see them for the first time at my urging. He got there early enough to secure a prime rail spot right in front of Red. The sound quality from that spot was perfect. We had no chompers nearby and were surrounded by friendly, engaged fans that left me free to focus on the music without distractions.
One thing that I had noticed during the 2017 festival sets and even at the late-night BB Kings show this past summer was that the setlists they were constructing seemed to have some flow issues. This wasn’t a problem tonight in either set. Instead we got well-polished heavy hitters, placed perfectly. This show was uptempo and high-energy, from beginning to end.
It’s A Bunch kicked things off and it immediately was clear that the band was clicking. About four minutes into the traditional song structure, they departed into a different, completely improvisational groove. It was exactly the type of detour I was hoping for, with Red alternating organ-sounding leads at a relaxed pace at first before they picked up the tempo and then slowed it down for a smooth segue into Mind’s Unchained.
You Don’t Know How it Feels was well-executed for being only the third version ever and the placement was perfect. I mean, who doesn’t like Tom Petty? The room had filled up by this point and the crowd was completely on board.
I think Slip and Squander is a beautiful song, a testament to the band’s songwriting abilities. There’s a Red recording out there of a solo set he played in 2016 where he performed Running on Empty, and the beginning of SnS reminds me a little of Jackson Browne. It also contains many of the hallmarks of the band that I enjoy – a slower, quiet piano intro and a slow build-up with introspective lyrics. In fact, the more I listen, the more I realize how critical Red’s patience, presence, and vocal abilities are to the “X Factor” that distinguishes Spafford from other bands in the genre.
It’s hard to go wrong with Windmill and this version "turned effortless". I thought Cam really pushed them along well during the middle jam section here as he and Brian are clearly getting more and more comfortable with each other. Brian’s searing leads were simply gorgeous, and the re-entry to the verses was smooth. While it doesn’t go into the outer reaches like some Windmills, the execution was flawless.
All In wasn’t on the printed setlist, so I like to consider it a bonus closer. I particularly connect to the lyrics of this song and love the exploratory middle section. Some versions of All In it feel like they’re spending a lot of time just searching for something to click, but this one never suffered from that problem. Instead it sounded like Spafford was a full-fledged prog rock band, majesticly channeling Yes or King Crimson. In all honesty, the closing chord sequence is a blatant homage to 20th Century Schizoid Man, but I don't consider that a bad thing.
At setbreak, I asked Eric his thoughts so far, given it was his first show. He was enthusiastic, but commented to me that while he liked the keyboardist, he felt he relied too heavily on the piano sound. "He should be more psychedelic," Eric said. Fair enough.
The second set plunged immediately into the abyss with the tastiest Virtual Bean Dip I’ve ever had. This sounded like a Disco Biscuits-inspired dance party in places. Perhaps the recent sit-in by Magner reinvigorated their inner Bisco fandom. It also literally seemed like Red had heard my friend talking, as he shifted gears multiple times with multiple synth sounds. The pace was being pushed and the electronic-influenced jamming that I felt had been largely missing over the summer as Cam got settled in finally seemed to be present again.
At about 11 minutes in, things got quiet as the band searched for a new direction. Eventually a new jam emerged organically, with a segue into Backdoor Funk that was as seamless as anything I’ve heard on this tour. Jordan turned on the filter and things started getting dirty and funky. The bass drove the jam, Red went for the organ sound eventually and once again they built to an absolutely raging climax. No subtlety here, just pure power -- Brian shredding and the band keeping pace.
The crowd practically exploded when the band started Electric Taco Stand. When the electronic drum sounds kicked in at four minutes, I was extremely pumped. Red started mixing up the synth sounds and it was full-on disco dance party time. It didn’t last too long, but just long enough to remind me how effortlessly they can shift from rock to electronica.
Just to prove that the can't be pigeonholed, they followed this dance party up by bringing out Dave Bruzza from Greensky Bluegrass for their fast-paced, bluegrass interpretation of The Red Hot Chili Peppers classic Soul to Squeeze. Even though it stood in stark contrast genre-wise from the previous song, this call didn’t hurt the flow of the set a bit and was welcomed by the bluegrass-friendly Colorado crowd.
America was simply shredded—Brian in full rock-star mode playing impressively clean leads and the band raging in perfect time behind him. It was so well polished it didn't matter that it wasn't stretched out more. The Reprise attached itself so perfectly to America, it almost feels like one song-- a great high-energy closer to an unbelievably upbeat set.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Shake You Loose. In fact, it’s one of my least favorite originals. I just don’t get that excited by standard blues-based songs. I was ready to head for the door because my kids get up at 5:30 am and I figured I might as well try and get a few extra minutes of sleep. But Eric didn’t want to leave, so I hung around for the end of the song and I’m glad I did. When Shake You Loose wrapped up, Brian looked at the rest of the band, nodded and kicked into Galisteo Way. I love this song. Yes, the intro sounds like Chalkdust Torture, and the middle section is reminscent of NICU, but it's such a catchy party song that I'll forgive them for wearing their influences on their sleeves. Eric said it just reminds him of straightforward ska and I couldn't argue his point.
I walked out of the Aggie completely satiated. They executed some of their strongest material to perfection and delivered two energetic sets that never stalled and jams that never meandered. It’s an absolute joy to watch a band still improving like this one is right now-- it's hard to believe Cam has only been with them for 7 months. I bought a T-shirt on the way out the door, something I haven’t done at a show in probably 15 years. They deserved my merch dollars and they deserve continued success. I'm all in it for the ride.
Special thanks to Tara Gracer Photography for the jaw-dropping photos from The Aggie!!
Full disclosure: I am first and foremost a Deadhead. I was lucky enough to see Jerry play with the boys 116 times and I was in no way finished when it all ended. For about 20 years, I really only listened to the Grateful Dead… one of those kinds of Deadheads. I was accused of being a tad narrow-minded in my musical tastes. So five years ago when I agreed to go see Spafford, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Me? See a band that is not a GD cover band? I remember that it seemed as soon as the show started it was finished. I turned to my spiritual guide, Scott, and said, “WTF man? How can they be done already? They just started!” “Heidi, they’ve been playing for like 90 min,” he said. Suffice it to say: face melted. Completely. I walked out of there saying, “These guys have ‘something’ and they are going to ‘go somewhere.’” I’ve never said that about any other local band ever, and, I’ve been seeing bands play bars for about 30 years.
I’m not even sure I can adequately articulate how important I think it is that Spafford includes a Grateful Dead song in the majority of their shows. It’s a shout-out to Jerry and the boys, of course, and the positive influence their music has had on them as musicians and maybe even as people. And it's also a shout-out to us, the fans, acknowledging the fact that we love the GD too. Acknowledging that our love and support is part of what has got them where they are right now, and as a sign of their thanks they give us these little presents of GD songs. I always get a little giddy when I hear other people do the Dead’s music and it's just amplified when it’s Spafford playing.
The momentum they have this tour is amazing! Every show is better than the last and I thought I was only getting the AZ shows (“only” what an ingrate, that’s FOUR shows) but as luck would have it, I got a surprise show… Dallas. And I just could not wait to see them. I was able to make a work thing get me to Dallas at the right time so it had that added bonus of being on the company’s dime!
I got to the venue a little early and hung out in the super cool restaurant/bar for a beer and had a great conversation with the bartender, who, upon hearing my excitement for the band, decided he needed to check them out! I met a couple of Nerds as we entered, one of whom was none other than the Speedy Gonzales of tapers, one Don Olker.
They started out strong with Mind's Unchained which is a huge favorite of mine. Next, a kickass 18-minute Longview that slipped seamlessly into It’s A Bunch. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone yell “Are. You. Fucking. KIDDING me?” why, I could’ve bought two or three of their $9 beers. Brian’s jam got faster as my smile got bigger. Next up was Diana, always a fun and refreshing ditty. Then came Plans… I just love the different changeups in this song and of course the “why ya ya ya ya ya ya oh oh oh oh” had everyone going. Then came Red’s turn to shine, playing a song that seemed to be about me, Feel Like a Stranger, as I was one to this town. Not only does he kill it in his amazingly played version of this song, but his voice…. Oh myyyy….like he was meant to sing this song. And after Red said, “Let’s get down Dallas,” we all complied.
Second Set started with In The Eyes Of Thieves and I felt like the spaceship had arrived to carry us all away. Red at the controls and the crowd was on their way. I could literally feel the sound of Jordan’s bass beating against my chest. Might’ve had something to do with the fact that there was a speaker directly in front of me but it sure added to the awesomeness of the experience.
The crowd cheers after this song were so loud and amazingly heartfelt. Next up was Soul to Squeeze which apparently some noobs didn’t realize Spafford covered and you could see that lightbulb go off once they realized they knew the song.
It was Spafford’s Chairman of the Boards’ turn again and I got to hear a new song (for me)… My Road (My Road)….where the Redjam sounds like a laser gun shoot-out. I got so lost during this jam I thought I heard The Song I Heard the Ocean Sing… Just when I start wondering, "Is this still My Road?" Brian comes around with that familiar riff and I’m like, "Oh yeah… it is." Honestly, there was a bit of a chomper problem and it seemed to escalate during Hollywood which was a bummer. Red closed us out with an amazing Slip and Squander that seemed to shut the chompers up a bit (never enough though).
Our encore was Galisteo Way and at the end when Brian encourages everyone to sing along with him we were ALL just screaming at the tops of our lungs. It was awesome!!
At the end of the show I proceeded to walk around and slap Nerds. It was so much fun giving “I’m Killing It” stickers to certain individuals I’d seen doing just that. It actually reminded me of “back in the day” when I would go to Grateful Dead shows. I liked to stand in a doorway with some kind of sticker. It didn’t have to be anything special. I remember once I got a grocery store clerk to give me a roll of Chiquita banana stickers. Another time it just said “FRESH.” Everyone who walked by I would sticker. And they would look at it and smile like it was the best thing ever. Ok, so there might have been drugs involved but it sure was FUN! That’s how I felt that night slapping Nerds with “I’m Killing It’s.” The parallels are many.
I like to vote an MVP for my show experience when I go see someone live. If it’s a run of shows, each show might get a different MVP or there may just be an MVP for the entire run. For me, a STRANGER in Dallas, this show’s MVP wasn’t even in the band. And it’s a tie among four total strangers who became my besties that night …. Christine & Josh, G & Manu. This was my first solo show in quite some time as with our amazing music scene in The Valley, it’s hard to get out to a show where I don’t know someone in the audience and I’m always with my love/best friend any way. But these fucking guys … made me feel so completely welcomed and it was as if we’d all known each other for years and I seriously can’t wait for the next time we can connect. This is what this band does…. Aside from the amazing music we all love, they generate such a loving wonderful environment that brings us NERDS together.
NERDS! Today is the day. Six months in the making and we can finally say that the Spaffnerds have stats! We've launched 3 new features today that will enrich your user experience:
New Spaffbase Homepage
I've been asked a bunch if there was an easy way to get to the setlist/recordings for the "latest" show. Well the wait is over. Simply go to https://spaffnerds.com/ and you'll see the setlist from the last show along with any recordings and attendance. We've also added a couple of links that will get you quickly into all shows with recordings as well as song stats. Wait... what? Song stats???
Yeah, that's right... I said it... We now have stats for songs. You can check out play frequency, gaps, first time played, last time played, and a more robust presentation of song history! You can see it by heading into the songs section and clicking on any song. Go!
BOOM! It's here. You've added the shows you've been to, now we can tell you about what you've seen. Head over to your user profile on the forum and click the "Spaffbase Stats" button. That will take you over to the spaffbase and show you your stats. You can also view other people's stats by clicking through the user section of the forum, going to their profile, and then clicking the "Spaffbase Stats" button.
nugs.net Subscription Giveaway
It's back! We're doing it again. We've got a 3 month nugs subscription to give away. Here's all you have to do:
- Go to one either Twitter or Facebook and follow/like our account/page. We use these to let you know about recording announcements and other good stuff that we do here. We really try to keep posting to only stuff that will give you value. So subscribe
- After you've subscribed to one (or both) come back here and reply to this topic. You can reply and just say you're in, but it would be a lot cooler if you took something from your stats, or one of the song stats, and posted that. There's some interesting things out there, so spread the word.
- We will draw next Saturday, 11/17 at 11 AM AZ time.
So... yeah! Happy Saturday. Have fun at the VIP show tonight. Share your stats!
NOTE: THE TIME OF THE DRAWING HAS BEEN UPDATED TO BE EARLIER SO THAT I CAN LEAVE FOR FLAGSTAFF! I'LL SEE YOU THERE!!!
My good friend, Lance, and I both got off work early on this beautiful day so we met at his place for a 90 Minute IPA and then arrived at The Mercy Lounge around 4:00. We circled the lot next to the venue in search of parking and saw the band's bus already there. I spotted Brian and Red heading to the venue from the bus and really wanted to "fanboy" out by yelling their names from the car but I stopped myself. This was the right decision.
We parked across 8th Avenue and wandered over to The Flying Saucer for a couple beers. It was a bit of a walk as I am currently in a walking boot from a terrible ankle sprain I suffered nearly two months ago but no big deal. If you ever have time to kill in Nashville, The Flying Saucer is a good bet with over 80 taps. From there we met up with some other friends at The Pub Nashville and enjoyed a light meal of Irish staples and a couple more drinks. Then on to the show!
I had won a couple guest list spots and gave them to my good friends, Chig and Gretchen, as payback for my miracle ticket to Night 2 of Phish 2016 in Nashville. Also, they had maybe heard about 30 minutes of Spafford prior to the show and I knew they would love it. All in, I convinced seven friends with minimal Spafford experience to come to the show. We hung outside the venue on the "smoking porch" while waiting for the show to start. I spotted Red and his wife out there but didn't want to cause a scene so just creepily glanced their way occasionally before I wandered back inside.
Southern Avenue was a pleasant surprise. Their lead vocalist can wail. She and the drummer have a beautiful harmony. I wonder if they are sisters. They have a bluesy soul sound that fit my mood very well to start the evening.
I have been listening to Spafford for just over a year now but this was my first time seeing them in action. My expectations were very high because I know what they are capable of and wanted my friends to be impressed. All expectations were exceeded.
Set I: My Road (My Road), Todd's Tots, Ain't That Wrong, Simon & Lily, Mad World, The Postman
My Road (My Road):
First time I've heard this song as it was just debuted a couple shows prior. Cool, fat bass riff leads the way. Red's soulful vocals are a good start to the show. It wasn't very memorable but my first Spafford show was under way.
Now we're cooking. I love this song. I have 2 daughters (Cassidy MaeRose, 8 and Stella BlueLily, 4) so I can easily identify with the brief lyrics. The quiet, contemplative jam in this song is one of the things I love about Spafford. Such a patient build so early in the show is a sign of great things to come on this night.
Ain't That Wrong:
Two of my friends, at different times during Ain't That Wrong, came to me and said they were hooked. We are only 3 songs in. I love that feeling. I introduced one of those friends to Phish 17 years ago and he then accompanied me to Big Cypress. Watching someone's face melt for the first time is a very beautiful thing. Ain't That Wrong is one of my favorites. Love the funky high energy blues rock.
Simon and Lily:
I honestly missed this one and was shocked to see it on the setlist before I went to bed after the show. No recollection whatsoever that it was played. Not a knock on the song. I like this song. Maybe I blacked out for a minute. Honestly not sure what happened but my brain must've had to reboot after Ain't That Wrong or something.
All of my friend's eyes lit up when they recognized this one. Big grins. They were all very shocked and then getting down. This was the highlight of the night for a few of them. Good, long, electronic jam. This jam hooked those in my group that hadn't already melted after Ain't That Wrong.
What a set closer! This is another personal favorite of mine. I remember another patient build to that magical release. Spafford is so fucking good at the tension and release jamming. Wish I could give specifics but the recording will eventually surface to remind me. I just remember being very happy with this one and feeling it was a perfect set closer.
Set II: It's a Bunch > On Fire > Leave The Light On, In The Eyes Of Thieves, The Fireman
Leave The Light On:
JAM OF THE NIGHT! I'm not sure how long LTLO was but they kept layering and building the jam only to let it slowly unravel so they could patiently build it again. Several times this occurred. At one point, I thought we were headed into Catfish John and a buddy told me it sounded like Fire on the Mountain. A lot of that was just the effect Brian was using. That sort of Autowah/MuTron thing. His playing really did sound very Garcia-esque during parts of this jam though. Again, can't wait to hear the recording.
In the Eyes of Thieves:
Perfect next song. More patient tension and release funky ass jamming.
Kind of left scratching my head on this one. Seemed like an afterthought. This was very short and an abrupt ending to an amazing second set.
E: Beautiful Day > Salamander Song
Red came out, by himself, to start the encore with a beautiful piano solo. The audience was not attentive. Lots of loud talking and yelling. Several people trying to shhhh the crowd. One of the friends I brought to the show bellowed over the crowd: "That means shut the fuck up!" I wanted to give him a big hug. Red sure is swell. He has such beautiful taste in the notes he chooses to play. The rest of the band slowly came back on stage and we were treated to the perfect encore for this day. Red had the aural stage to himself to close the song and the rest of the band just watched him play. As it wound down, I noticed Brian and Jordan tuning so knew we were gonna get another song. My soul knew exactly what that song was gonna be. And then.....
Yep. Could not have asked for a better encore. The Nashville crowd doesn't understand when to "Hey!" but that's ok. Most of them had never heard Salamander before let alone heard Spafford before. We danced the whole way home for sure.
Personal highlight for me. While waiting for my friends to close out their tabs at the bar, I spotted Red and his wife heading for the stairs to leave. I quickly approached him, shook his hand, and thanked him for a great show. As I mentioned before, I'm not one to generally do something like this but I would've regretted not taking advantage of the opportunity. Wish I could've said hello to the rest of the members. Maybe next time!
Big thanks to Spafford for coming to Nashville. Hope they make us a regular tour stop because I'll go every time. Nerd for life.
~ Elliot Smith (@BushCow)
Special thanks to Jared Harvey for contributing some of the photos