Live - Howie Wowie! Day Slays Crowd In SF

Holy Howie Day. I had no idea what was in store for me when I arrived at
Slim's in San Francisco to check out the 21-year-old Day. Was I in for a
surprise. He started off sounding like a typical singer/songwriter with a really good
voice, falling somewhere in between John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls
and the sadly defunct Unbelieveable Truth featuring Thom Yorke of
Radiohead's little brother, Andy. Then, however, the whole thing got
turned on its ear. Day became an analog DJ Shadow. He had a huge
bank of effects pedals at his feet and he used them to turn his one man show into a
symphony of pop goodness. He'd play a melody line on his amplified acoustic guitar
and loop it, so it would keep playing in the background. Then he'd play a guitar line with
a different strum pattern and loop that. Basslines played on the top string of the guitar
were added, as well as pounding on the hollow body of the acoustic for an impromptu
drum sample. On top of this excellent montage, he'd lay down like three or four vocal
lines, allowing himself multiple background vocal tracks behind his primary vocal. It was
truly amazing. One of the best shows I've seen all year, and definitely one ot the top two
of this year.

His amazing self-sampling wasn't the only aspect of his show that kept the crowd abuzz.
Howie also liberally sprinkled cover songs into his set, or at least short bursts of
other songs. The first two minutes of "Wonderwall" made an appearance, as did a
tongue-in-cheek version of that Celine Dion crap from Titanic (at this
point I was wondering with all the Epic covers, if Polly Anthony herself was
deriving the set list). Thankfully, a playful pinch of Sixpence None The Richer's
"Kiss Me" arrived next, so I knew no foul play was involved. After a few more original
numbers, Day bantered with the crowd thusly: "do you ever notice how all songs
are the same song, they just sing something different?" At which point he played the
same chords and sang a number of songs over the top, "Sex & Candy," by Marcy
Playground, Bush's "Machinehead," "What If God Was One of Us," by
Joan Osbourne and wrapped up with "Sex & Candy" again. It was funny,
engaging and amusing all at the same time. He finished the show with an original
number (I've never heard him before, so I don't know any of the song titles; get off of me
already), finished the last minutes of the song with an amalgamation of samples and
loops and eased off stage to a cacophony of cheers, yours truly included. Nothing is
better than attending an amazing show when you weren't expecting one.

Live - Howie Wowie! Day Slays Crowd In SF