The following notes are a cigarette by cigarette account of the Badly Drawn Boy concert at the Vic, in Chicago last night (10/21). Smoke 'em if you gotem...
Cigarette 1: Spark my first smoke of the evening after talking door ape out of taking my camera. Brendan Benson, opening act, is playing. Sounds like a mix between John Mayer and Jude. Benson’s keyboardist is pushing the infringement rights of “chop sticks”. Think I will get a beer. Wow, these pants are tight. Did Brendan Benson just look at me? I think he did….Oooo!!
Cigarette 2: Fire up second cigarette after a couple songs into the first set of Badly Drawn Boy. Damon Gough explains that they will be playing 2 sets this evening. The first set will be his latest album One Plus One is One in its entirety. Second set is promised to be the sing alongs. Is that Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull ripping out those flute riffs? Probably not, but that is a pretty cool flutist. Can’t get “Bungle in the Jungle” out of my head. My roommate is asked to take his feet off the chairs in front of him for second time. His turn to buy beer. Does Damon Gough ever wash his signature red beanie? Bet it stinks. Get some flute boy….get some!!
Cigarette 3: Third cigarette comes soon after second one. Sick of the flute. Flutie Flakes has got to go. The first three songs, ok. Now, you are pushing it flute boy. Give it a rest. Into “A New Song”. Damon stops. Starts song over. He is not happy with the set up. Sound levels are off, feedback sporadically popping up since the beginning of the show. The show so far has been slow. Crowd is motionless. Roommate is asked to keep his feet off the metal hand railing for 5th time. He gets up and finally goes for the beers.
Cigarette 4: “Let’s Bunnnngle in the Junnnnngle—well, that’s alright with me.” Can’t get that song out of my head. Damon plays a 50 second Elliot Smith lament called “Few Words”. I guess the title was right. “The Blossoms” almost put me over the edge; an instrumental with-you guessed it-lead flute.
Cigarette 5: End of first set. 10 minute break. Badly Drawn Boy finally picks up some steam with the last few songs. “Holy Grail” was well put together and embodied the Badly Drawn Boy flavor. I sound like a beer commercial. Speaking of beer….
Cigarette 6: Into the second set, the crowd is finally responding to those popular ditties they know and love. “A Minor Incident”, and “Silent Sigh” held my attention with the slow and poignant lyrics. Reminds me of Elliot Smith. Foot police are still hovering over my roommate waiting for a rouge foot to pounce on. I light my 6th cigarette and aim it in their direction in order to shoe them away. “Shoe Them Away”….hey that’s funny.
Cigarette 7: Last cigarette. May have to bum a promotional Pall Mall from roommate. “Once Around the Block” gets the toes tapping. Second set comes together well. Good crowd pleaser, songs were tight, everybody was happy. Damon asks for request and suddenly I feel like I am in the 5th row of the prices right: “$450!!”, “$523”, “Have you fed the fish?”, “$1 Bob!!!”. Alright, I am ready to move on. Very impressed with the fact the Badly Drawn Boy played his entire new album as well as the favorites. First set was more laments to passing friends and family. The second set had some more laments but with a little groove to them. Well, time to go. Hey,Flute Boy….you better watch your back!
Source: Brian Balok