My take on Damien Rice.

The man is undiluted awesomeness.  I have seen many, many great live performances in my relatively short years and he topped them all.  The staging was fairly simple, the lighting well coordinated, and the band was clearly having a good time. Mr. Rice himself would chat with the audience between sets, giving insights into the songs and how they came to be.  The highlights for me were:  “Cannonball” which was a completely accoustic rendition and so the crowd went utterly silent to hear every last note, “Coconut Skins” and “Older Chests” before each song he explained how it percolated into being and his feelings about the world in general, and finally he closed with “Cheers Darlin”.

He acted it out.  Complete with a roadie dressed as a barkeep serving him wine to drown his sorrows.  The band was offstage and the music would pipe in at appropriate times.  It was half monologue, half song, and in the end Damien went his dejected, rejected way off-stage by a street lamp light in the snow.  Genius stuff, that.

So, yeah, I had a reasonable time.

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5 responses to “My take on Damien Rice.

  • Ian

    So now that she has posted her bit, I’ll comment.

    I cared very little about going to this concert, because I knew very little of his work. The final part of the performance, however, sold me. As she said, the inspiration for the song was explained, then the writing of the tune was acted out – half spoken, half sung. The half sung part was amazing – it truly made his abilities evident.

    Cannonball was another impressive feat – he and the band had just spent the past 5 minutes jamming to an ever increasing beat with a cacophony of lights bringing the Ryman to a ring, but then stopped everything. A few band members departed, leaving only those most needed. He took two steps back from the stand mic and began to sing.

    The audience, who had been whipped into a dancing (literally for some people) frenzy, suddenly became ABSOLUTELY silent so he could be heard. Now I sort of think that he was entirely unplugged for this part of the performance… or at least I really want to. It was fantastic. It made me realize how wonderfully intimate a venue like the Ryman truly is, especially if it was simply his voice, unassisted, carrying through the hall.

    Sooo… for all my complaining, hemming and hawing, and what-not… I had fun, too.

  • Uncle Munkee

    If you guys like people who speak their songs, you oughta check out some stuff by William Shatner.

  • Susan

    “I can’t get behind that.”

  • Ian

    I don’t understand my wife’s comment.

    HOWEVER – I don’t think Shatner is doing quite the same thing Damien was. It was half spoken (throughly acted) and then half sung. It was then that it sank in that this is someone who really knows how to sing.

    I’ve heard some of Shanter’s stuff… it’s… interesting. Sort of like that guy that turns all the songs into lounge tunes?

  • Susan

    I was quoting one of Shatner’s songs. I rather enjoy them, mostly as a source of amusement.

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