Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm Like a Bird

Last night I went to the Nelly Furtado concert at Tower City. I realize that nowadays there is a bit of a love-her or hate-her response with most people given the explosive success of her most recent album Loose. Really you can thank/blame Timbaland for that. However, I have been a huge Nelly fan since day one, way back in 2000 when her first album Whoa, Nelly! dropped. Truth be told, that album is in my all-time top 5 (the other four in no particular order: They Might Be Giants Lincoln; Fiona Apple When the Pawn...; Bjork Homogenic; Ben Folds Five).

This isn't the first time I've seen Ms. Furtado in concert. I saw her way back in 2001 as part of the Area: One concert. That line-up was incredible: Nelly Furtado, The Roots, Incubus, Outkast and Moby. Even though she was on the mainstage and had a billing, she was still essentially the warm-up act: an unenviable position. I remember how excited I was to see her back then and it paralleled my excitement for last night.

The opening act was...well...his name was Saukrates (pronounced like "Socrates"). Yeah, that about sums it up right there. He wasn't quite as good as the one-man synth band that opened for Beck, but he was better than that guy who opened for Fiona Apple. Come to think of it, I've been relatively lucky with opening acts. VHS or Beta, M.I.A. (she technically opened for LCD Soundsystem) and a few others who were at least decent. Saukrates just seemed a little green, but he redeemed himself later on in the show. The second warm-up act was Kenna, someone I had actually heard of beforehand. He was pretty good and I would recommend checking his stuff out on iTunes.

Then the main show started. I know I'm going to sound like an old fogey when I say this, but why do concerts have to be so loud? I'm not asking that in a "am I going to go deaf?!" sort of way, but rather it was so loud that the sound was getting distorted. If the overall volume was lower, it would be plenty loud for everyone to hear with the added benefit of understanding what was sung. It has to do with the venue: I had the same issue at Pat Benatar. Anyway, the set for the show was awesome. The main stage was a three-tiered white platform with a huge lite-brite inspired backdrop. And if you haven't seen what Nelly looks like, she is absolutely gorgeous. We had SRO tickets, so we were pretty far back from the stage but she just radiates beauty.

I could go on about each individual song, but there's only so much gushing that can be stomached. Everybody got their dance on, everybody rocked out, and everybody had a good time. Well, except for this one dad about 6 rows in front of us. He had brought his daughter and a group of her friends. They were having a blast -- he seemed rather ambivalent. Oh yeah, that was the other thing: the crowd was probably the most diverse concert crowd I've been a part of. Rock on!

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