Java Concert Letdown
|Stoll Vaughan||7/10 stars|
|Matthew Perryman Jones||8/10 stars|
|Jim James||1/10 stars|
|Patty Griffin||10/10 stars|
I don’t normally write diatribes about concerts here in Birmingham, but last night’s extravaganza deserves some commentary. With all the hoopla about the Reg’s Coffee House 10-Year Celebration, I had my hopes up. I even convinced my better half to join me in a venture downtown.
First, I should point out that I had only heard one artist of the four taking the stage prior to last night. Reg did a nice job introducing the night and making the obvious clear… Patty Griffin would take the stage last. No matter, I thought, the audience seemed plenty pleased about two of the other performers.
Stoll Vaughan was up first. When Reg announced his name in running through the lineup, no one so much as raised a voice or clapped two hands together in support of his visit to Birmingham. He got a nice enough response from the crowd when he pointed out that a 12 hour trip turned into 20 to make it here from whence he started. Surprisingly, he excited the audience and even held our attention.
After a quick 15 minute turnover of the stage, Matthew Perryman Jones hit the stage. Short of Ms. Griffin, this was a highlight of the night. His ensemble was tight and his songwriting skill was well developed.
The MOST PAINFUL performance I’ve ever sat through greeted us in the 3rd set of the evening. Jim James crooned, wailed, and just about gave me a migrane. It got so bad that I even offered to leave the theatre altogether and miss the very reason we came. My wife was a saint and urged me to suffer through it with her. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer and we escaped from our floor level seats to the busy lobby full of others who found nothing redeeming about Mr. James’ solo songs or style. That said, there was a theatre full of screaming fans everytime he started a song they recognized.
We did, in fact, go back in for about 30 minutes of Patty Griffin’s set. I regret that we had to leave and get home since the show had hit our cut-off time of 10:30pm to get home for the kids. I still don’t know if it was worth the wait but I seriously question the validity of Jim James on the lineup. I wonder if anyone else failed to enjoy the celebration as much as we did?