As I mentioned in the first post on this blog, I was REALLY excited to finally get to see Polvo. They broke up right around the time I got into them, and I wasn’t going to miss this chance to see them. I saw three of the members hanging out at the merch table, so I went up to buy a T-shirt, and got the Black Taj CD too, which has Dave Brylawski and Steve Popson from Polvo in it. Very good CD, a bit more straightahead rock than Polvo.
I mentioned to Dave that I had been waiting 10 years to go see them, and he seemed flattered. I felt like a giggling schoolgirl talking to these guys, I tend to get a bit starstruck around musicians who I really like. I asked if they were taking any requests, and then totally blanked when he asked what I wanted to hear. I asked for them to play City Spirit since it’s one of my favorites, very evocative of a downtown at night. He said they were just talking about doing that song, and that they’ve only played it once in this incaranation of the band (different drummer for this tour). And sure enough, they did play it during the set! As soon as I walked away from the merch booth though, all these other songs popped into my head that I should have asked for instead…. By the way, Dave has a huge, husky voice, like a grizzly bear. I never noticed it on the albums, maybe it’s from years of smoking?
I stood in the same spot for both Trans Am and Polvo, as not to lose my place. Oddly enough, the Polvo guys stood in the same place as the last time they played the Casbah in 1996. It was tough to get full band shots since I was right in front of Ash Bowie, so I shot mostly individuals/ duos. Since I went by myself, this meant that I couldn’t move to go get another beer between the two bands, so I was pretty thirsty during this set. Ah well, such is life.
Being a sold-out show, I had zero room to move around, so all the photos have the same view. The bass player, Steve Popson, was the most animated of the bunch, so many shots were of him. Not a problem for me, as I’m a bass player….
Ash Bowie looked like he hadn’t aged a day in the past 10 years. The other guys are showing their age a bit more, but they seemed to be happy to be playing together again.
Dave Brylawski hung out on the far side of the stage most of the time, and it was cool to see who played/sang what.
The drummer, Brian Quast, was the only non-original member of the band. It would have been cool to see Eddie Watkins, but this guy was more than capable. Less finesse, more power than Eddie, I think, but it could have just been the difference in seeing it live. He was a sweaty guy, though. By the end of the encore, his shirt and pants were drenched.
I really wish I got a sharp version of that photo….
For the encore, the lighting actually changed the lights from the deep red/little bit of blue that they normally have, to all blue. It was a welcome change. I wish the Casbah put a little more effort into lighting. I actually have a preset in my photo editing software specifically designed to tame down the overall red cast on this stage.
All in all, a great show to see. The playing was much looser than what’s on CD, possibly due to not playing the songs for so long. They also changed around the structures for some of their well known songs, sometimes drastically. Thermal Treasure was almost unrecognizable. As an improvising musician, I can totally understand that. As a fan, I want to be able to sing along, which was tough when the songs are organized differently, or the lyrics are totally different (Feather of Forgiveness). One thing that was just like the CDs- it’s pretty tough to be able to hear/understand the lyrics in many places, since they are very buried in the mix. And I was standing close to enough to Ash to be able to reach out and touch his guitar.
If these photos, and the ones in the gallery page, aren’t enough for you, just let me know and I can send you a link to my other site which has quite a few more. Of course, my friends who get regular email updates about new photos already know where to look.