Grant-Lee Phillips: May 23, 2009
Los Angeles, CA - The Little Room at Largo

Main Set:
Little Moon
Seal It With a Kiss
Nothing is For Sure
Lazily Drowning
Blind Tom
The Hook
Far End of the Night (request)
Shining Hour
Buried Treasure

*I'm pretty sure that "Honey Don't Think" was performed, but I can't remember where in the setlist it came in.

Lone Star Song (request)
Strangest Thing
Mockingbirds (request)

Notes: Heh, so, 24 hours after seeing Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction rock out in a big way with over twenty thousand people at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, I found myself 340 miles south, in a small room that held maybe 60 people, to see Grant-Lee Phillips perform, mostly solo on an acoustic guitar.

Allow me to tell the backstory here: several months previous to this show, I was over at my then-boyfriend Andrew's house on a chilly, grey Sunday. He was playing music on the stereo and put on the album Mighty Joe Moon, by Grant-Lee Buffalo. I'd heard the band name before and was familiar with their hit song from the 1990's, "Truly, Truly," but I'd never really been exposed to more of their music or owned any of their albums. But I was immediately taken by the first song on that album, "Lone Star Song," and I found myself loving everything that came after it, too. "Who IS this?" I asked Andrew. "Grant Lee Buffalo," he replied. "I LIKE it!" I responded.

So then I got mp3s of all of their albums, as well as Grant-Lee Phillips' solo work (Grant Lee Buffalo broke up in the late 1990's), and I started listening to them A LOT. (I've since bought everything he's put out on CD, since I believe in supporting the artists I'm a fan of by paying for their music.) One evening in January or February of 2009 I did a search for GLB/GLP clips on YouTube and found a live performance of "Lone Star Song" that I thought was really captivating. Then I discovered that Grant would be performing at the Little Room at Largo in Los Angeles that very weekend! Well, it was a bit too last minute for Andrew and I to arrange to go see him, but Grant did perform there quite regularly, so we decided we'd just catch him next time.

Well, he scheduled more shows throughout the spring, but Andrew and I already had plans for those weekends. Then we finally found a date that worked, but Andrew twisted his ankle a day before the show and we decided it would be better to stay home and rest his gimpy foot. It was getting comical, how often it just wasn't working out for us to see Grant perform, despite shows happening almost every 2-3 weeks.

FINALLY a show was scheduled that worked for us, kind of. It was the day after the NIN/Jane's Addiction show. Going to see Grant meant a loooong day of driving from San Jose down to Los Angeles, but we decided to do it.

...and I am so glad that we did! After a delicious meal at a Japanese fusion restaurant across the street, we saw a wonderful show from Grant-Lee Phillips in a very intimate setting. We lucked out and had seats very close to the stage, which definitely helped my cause when I mustered up the cajones to call out a plea for "Lone Star Song" when Grant asked for requests. He honored my request and sent me to Cloud Nine. It was one of those moments when there was no place else on Earth that I'd rather be. He hung out by the door after the show was over and I was able to personally thank him for playing my request. He was humble and turned it around to thank ME for helping him get through the set by suggesting what to play!  Ha!  That man has no shortage of fine tunes.

He was very funny and full of charisma, and that goes a long way for me as an audience member when I don't know all of the songs that are played, which was the case with this show since he played a few songs from his then-unreleased album, Little Moon. A friend of his joined him to play piano on a few songs.  His support act was a magician/comedian, and Grant touched on this later in the show and pretended to do some mind-reading with an audience member.

I would like to go see him perform again, but the timing of his shows hasn't worked out for me yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that will change sometime this summer.

(May 13, 2010)


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