Sunday, November 09, 2008
I think I gambled and won - Rachel Fuller's "In The Attic" At the Troubadour in LA
Back in July when we were here in LA for the VH-1 show, this tour, or at least part of it, was announced. Friend Mike Starcke had said that Rachel Fuller, Pete Townshend's partner, was hinting maybe at an "In The Attic" show for the same weekend as the LA shows. I've got family back east, so in some world it would make sense for me to go to some of the shows there. But, I thought that coming to LA this weekend was probably the way to go for me. No show in Denver, so I had to travel somewhere. Based on my previous experience attending the ITA at Martyrs in Chicago, I figured being in town if there was going to be in ITA was a chance worth taking.
OH MAN, WAS IT!!!!
The ITA show last night was really great. Despite the fact that my insane husband insisted we take public transportation from the airport to the hotel and then from the hotel to the Troubadour. It was an hour and 11 minutes bus ride to the Troubadour. The only thing that made it ok in the end was that the bus stopped right in front of our friends in the line - Bob, Duke, Eddie, Corkface, Shari, Drew, Horace, Sue and Kim - and they applauded when we walked right off the bus into the line. Now that was funny. I'm not opposed to buses. I used them for years when I had to stop driving because of MS. But I am a spoiled brat who wants to take a cab to get to the Rachel and Pete show. If there was a t-shirt that said "Woman Too Cool To Take Bus to Townshend Show", I would have been wearing it.
We had the usual nerve-wracking line anxiety. I hate that part. Every time I go through it, I think "Ok, I'm not going to do this anymore". We eventually were let into the Troubadour, and our fears were unfounded. We were all right smack up against the stage. The luckiest people in town that night. Thanks to Bob, Duke, Eddy and Corkface for tackling the line. We owe you some line karma, big time.
It was fun to see Rachel walk out on stage. I have come to really like her, and appreciate her, and her songs. "Cigarettes and Housework" is very familiar to me at this point, and I enjoyed it. I was really surprised that she did not do anything other 'Rachel' songs. "Sunrise" was beautiful, as always, and was coupled with the first re-do of the night, which makes it all that much more entertaining. You could see on Pete's face he was going to want to do the second half of the song again, and they did. And it went much better. Rachel was able to nail the vocals.
I had just read about "She and Him" in the New York Times or maybe the New Yorker and was surprised when they turned out to be the first guests. Very fun. Zooey is beautiful and who knew she had that voice? They were very entertaining to listen to. I suspected "Blue, Red and Grey" when I first walked in because I thought there was a mandolin on top of the piano. And yep, BR&G came next, but no mandolin. Pete and Zooey did it and it was beautiful. And very special to a lot of us, I think.
TKAA with Jakob Dylan and Pete took my breath away a little bit. Very, very nice job. Jakob has great stage presence and is engaging. "E Fuller Townshend" from Eels is funny and his music on the piano was very good. I'm partial to keyboardists :-).
My favorite guest was Ben or, The-Death-Cab-For-Cutie guy. I saw him in a video one time and he had made me laugh and I was pretty thrilled to see him live. He was good. Like Chris in "Fountains of Wayne", he's cute and has a dark, troubled side that comes out in his music. I guess I have a soft spot for that.
The best part, as always, was the Pete section. We were lucky and got our favorite "cheeky Pete". He talked about the election (as Bob pointed out, our first post-election WGFA), Roger, their magical and weird 'marriage' and was as loveable and entertaining as always. There was a time when I knew how to spell loveable but that time is gone. Then fierce and transcendent versions of "Acid Queen" and "Drowned" and "WGFA". Worth twice the price of the $250 charity ticket right there, and reminded me that yeah, it is worth all the hassle, line anxiety and freakin' bus rides.
I ran into many friends from previous Who shows. Some people from VH-1, Matt from Las Vegas. That's always one of my favorite parts. I completely love being with people who feel the same joy I do when in the presence of the Townshend magic. Of course, many of our regular posse was there - including Max and daughter Tess. We somehow lost Horace and John Ryan after the show.
I feel incredibly lucky to have been there. And I feel grateful to Rachel and Pete for doing it.