Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday: Punch Brothers and Carnegie Hall

Friday night I had the opportunity to see my favorite band, Punch Brothers, play Carnegie Hall. You know, the one in New York. I have been to both the Carnegie Music Hall and Carnegie Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh in the past year and this one in New York is much bigger, though the stage doesn't look that different. I've seen Punch Brothers several times in a variety of different places from the Allen Room at the Time Warner Center to the Bowery Ballroom over three years ago.
Yes I took a picture, don't tell, ok.

Though it was large and some of the intimacy was lost, it was a wonderful setting to hear this music. I still can not get over the acoustics, even though I was up in the balcony, several flights of stairs above the band, I could easily make out every note and though I had heard all of the songs played live or on a recording I noticed many nuances that were lost before. I think as a band they played up the incredible sound they had in this space and took more advantage of crescendo and decrescendo in their music. This probably was my favorite element of the concert hearing all the different aspects of their playing kept me riveted. The only thing I really missed was the song It'll Happen, which is a favorite of mine, evidenced by the number of time itunes says I've played it. Though I only noticed that I missed it when a friend mentioned how beautiful it is as an offset to the song Sometimes.

Set list:
Don't Need No
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
This is the Song/Good Luck
The Blind Leaving the Blind: 3rd mvt
Wayside (back in time)
Welcome Home
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048, 3. Allegro
Punch Bowl
The Blind Leaving the Blind: 4th mvt
Martha My Dear
Lonesome River
Watch at Breakdown
Rye Whiskey
Packt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Can
The Eleventh Reel

I just have to note that I felt really weird seeing these guys play in such a big hall. One of my favorite things about this type of music is how accessible the musicians are and what a great community it fosters. I have a number of stories of the nice people I meet at these types of shows and knowing I'm at the right club because I see the musicians as I'm walking in. So it was strange walking in and seeing few familiar faces (though Tony Trischka was outside when I was waiting to meet my friends) and the boys being so far away. That and the after show with a list, that's just crazy.

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