Review: 2019-10-29 - Meow Wolf- Santa Fe, NM
mccuem last edited by Johnny Love
Meow Wolf Baby!
Santa Fe what an amazing 24 hours I just spent inside you! Meow Wolf was so much better than I could have hoped for, from the show to the Venue the people this show reminded me of why I fell in love with this band so many years ago. The intimacy of this venue and seeing a lot of familiar faces gave this show a feel of a Spafford show circa 2015 Last Exit Live.
So, for this show I decided to do VIP. I had seen a lot of pictures on Spafford's Instagram lately and thought that I should do VIP for at least one show this year. Plus poster, sound check, and a brief Q&A and we got first stab at merch. The really cool thing that was rumored was that Meow Wolf would open its Installation Exhibit “House of Eternal Return”. It is an Art Installation that spans a huge warehouse and has a 2 story Victorian House inside and I think I read 70 unique rooms to explore. There is a story line and you can solve the mystery of what happened to the Family that lived there. I only mention this because I had just thought it was a collection of art installations.
Leading up to sound check I got to meet a bunch of local New Mexico nerds. They were happy to be treated to a show since it had been a few years since Spafford had performed in the Land of Enchantment. VIP was an intimate performance of about 25 or so minutes that saw the band dive in and out of songs, shortening them up so that we could get more tracks. Q&A followed and we were asked to write questions on a sheet of paper that the VIP host then posed to the crowd as they sat on the edge of the stage. Turns out the band stated that Grand Rapids was their favorite show so far on tour while Red didn’t want to commit and ended up stating Denver night 1 to be his favorite. Also found out that they don’t have a favorite between red or green sauce almost in unison they answered ‘Christmas’ to the question about their preference. Good call Gents.
Before the doors for GA opened I was able to secure Brian Bojo’s latest work for the band. This is a beauty of a print and one that went really fast.
While we waited for the show to start the venue did open the attraction and wow was I impressed. If you go make sure to arm yourself with 3D glasses for the full experience. It is trippy to say the least and can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not ready for it. The venue is part of the exhibit and I had a great time exploring while the crowd trickled in. The venue holds around 300 people and I would say there was perhaps 200 there. Large contingents of AZ peeps, locals and those who didn’t get stranded in Colorado due to the weather.
Spafford takes the stage and launches right into a 30-minute Bee Jam which welcomes you to gently sway while you are looking pretty much everywhere but the stage. I think it was about now that I went up to the balcony and put on a FB live stream. I think it’s still up on FB if you care to look for it. Mind's Unchained was up next and this tune never fails to amaze me. Perfect jam wrapped up at the beginning and the end with the musings of our own Chuck Johnson.
Plans starts to float out of the Raven and I know that the dance party is just starting. And judging by those around me everybody was feeling this Jam. Again the room was electric and had high energy vibes, little to no chomping and it had a real intimate feeling that you can only get in a small room. I know that I have been saying that we needed to enjoy the smaller rooms because we wouldn’t be getting them for much longer (probably around ’16 or ’17) and now I think the last dozen or so times I have seen them it has been primarily in venues with at least 1000+ capacity.
Comfortable comes next before we get the sole cover of the night, Down Under by Men at Work. Comfortable gets the crowd in the grove then Down Under gets the building shaking. I always feel that Spafford gets people going with this song because I feel that they step up the tempo quite a bit, but what do I know I’m just here to get down.
Thanks Rob for the Photo!
Set 2 started with Lovesick Melody and again Jordan's Bass seems to be taking things to another level. Give this one a spin I really enjoy how the Gents have mastered switching up the tempos on this song which leads right into Soil. Since making its debut almost two years ago it is in heavy rotation making an appearance about once a week when they are on tour.
Windmill to keep the dance party going! ‘A simple song it has no cost, through this riff my trouble's lost' and 'You’ve got me dreaming again’ were probably the two lyrics that I was belting out the most.
Slip and Squander keep the evening rolling. Red serenades us before the band jams out again. The boys take a quick tuning break before the synth intro of America washes over us. Well, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was in the moment but that’s the benefit of writing this post show with an Archive recording to jog the old memory. But just as the band is gently letting us down and catch our collective breath, that funky bass line walks us straight into The Reprise. I need someone to give this a listen for me and compare it to other versions as I thought they threw a new ending at us.
Speaking of funky bass lines, Shake You Loose to close the second set! The evening so far has been absolutely stellar! One cover and a lot of older songs to treat New Mexico to their first show in as I had over heard in the crowd ‘way to F$@&ing long’.
After a quick break Spafford returns to the stage and jumps right into Galisteo Way! Cool to see this song hit the century mark! Now at the Q&A Brian did mention that Jordan now has two songs where he gets to drop and F-bomb and Brian only has one. Wonder if there was some last minute set-list doctoring? Brian is urging us to dance and sing along and there is not a stationary person in the venue. Thank you Spafford for one hell of a show! New Mexico, I will see you soon.
That however was not the end of the evening folks…. Perhaps you had seen posts on Facebook about a pre- and post-show down the street? Pherkad, a quartet from Albuquerque, were set up down the street at Leaf and Hive. These guys also jam. It was a lot of fun to get to see them again as I had missed them the last time they were in AZ. Give them a listen check them out. They have to be pretty legit if everyone from Spafford makes the walk over, right?
FL-AF last edited by
@mccuem Exactly how it went down! Great venue, amazing people, and kick ass dance party!!
phokus last edited by
Excellent review of a excellent show at an excellent venue.
The only thing missing is that The Reprise was slowed down quite a bit.
Pherkad does jam!