October 28th, 2008, Mid-Morning | permalink

The election is a week away, so with some states still undecided a slew of musicians are hitting the road with Rock The Vote to, ummm, rock the vote, sorry, get out and vote… And, luckily for me, North Carolina is one of these states (along with Virginia, Ohio, Minnesota to name a few) so we were first in line for a night of Beastie Boys, Sheryl Crow and Santogold at Amos’ Southend, two of those are worth the price of admission…

As Amos’ doors opened at 6. I started by arriving at Tavern on the Tracks just before 5 and scored a parking space in their lot that would facilitate a quick getaway after wards. After getting some snacky dinner and hanging around for an hour or so I headed over to the show, unfortunately the queue was long outside, and it was freezing, not a good wait. Rock The Vote people were milling around asking if people were registered or if they had voted already, of course I was harassed but they soon learned I was an empty cause, and I also managed to flog my spare ticket for $40, so I was off to a good start already.

Flickr: SantogoldSantogold kicked the evening off and she was ok, not really my kind of thing but entertaining enough for an opening act. As would be the theme of the night, there was a lot of political monologues between songs, but hey, it’s a political event so what do you expect? Another notable thing about Santogold’s set was her backing dancers, 2 women wearing identical clothes and sunglasses who just stood there for a few minutes, offering up an occasional backing vocal before the busted out some crazy syncronised dancing. Very bizarre.

After a little break the Beastie Boys came out to much approval to introduce Sheryl Crow.

Flickr: Sheryl CrowSheryl Crow was good, really good. She came on to do a little solo song before hanging up the guitar to take on the bass and going through a few new songs, her latest CD is actually very good, I recommend it, as well as a few classics like “Can’t Cry Anymore”, “A Change Would Do You Good” and “Everyday Is A Winding Road” (see below for a video of that). I also think the Sheryl was my favourite performer of the night, don’t get me wrong, I like the Beastie Boys, but Sheryl seemed to capture the mood much better with a mostly acoustic set of songs you can chill to.

She was also the easiest to capture in picture as she doesn’t move around the stage much, compare that to the Beastie Boys who were bouncing here, there and everywhere… As a side note, it’s been about 9½ years since I last saw the Beastie Boys live in Glasgow, and they have put out one album in that space of time (four if you include The Sounds Of Science Anthology, Solid Gold Hits (a best of) and last years instrumental effort The Mix Up).

Flickr: Beastie BoysFor three guys who are in their forties, the “Boys” haven’t lost a step in the live performance stakes, they played for over an hour in a set that did NOT include Sabotage, backed by Mix Master Mike, and everyone lapped it up. Non Sabotage aside, it was a very, very good time, live staples like “Root Down”, “Sure Shot”, “So What’cha Want?” and “Intergalactic” made sure everyone went home happy, but there was a weaird thing at the end where they didn’t go off stage to come back for the encore, then said they’d be back with the other artists, but once they went off, the house lights came up and show was over. Anyways, these guys were the hardest to photograph, poor light conditions and fast movement don’t mix, and I was so far back my flash would have been useless.

Overall it was $35 (plus fees) well spent, and I’d give a nice nod of thanks to Amos’ security staff for not turning my camera away at the door, his reasoning of overriding the “no cameras/recording devices” rule due to everyone having a camera phone was much appreciated, not just by me, but by a few people around me who were asking for copies of my pictures. Alas most were missed connections as it’s hard to get an email address while loud music is being played, you have nothing to write on and holding a big camera… I said they’d be on Flickr and as of right now they are still the only images of last night on there… So…

Get Out And Vote Tour ’08 (Set)

Originally uploaded by FLC.