Monday, November 16, 2009

Mason Jennings - In The Venue

It was my privilege on Saturday to go see Mason Jennings perform at In The Venue. With my recent concert experiences I've been thinking a lot lately about how music is really meant to be heard live, in person. Obviously you can still really enjoy listening to recordings, but the experience of hearing music being played live is just different, much more tangible.

I went and saw him last year soon after he released his album, In The Ever, and so based on my two experiences with him, it seems to be customary for him to draw heavily from his most recent album in his performances. I guess this is his first tour even bringing an electric guitar. Last year he played about half of his set on just his acoustic guitar, without the rest of his band even on stage, so it was fun to see him rock out a little more this year. He alternated between electric and acoustic songs, and threw in a good mix of some of his other popular songs including Be Here Now, Crown, Jackson Square, Ballad For My One True Love, New Man, Bullet, and Butterfly.

The whole set lasted for about 90 minutes, and he came out for two encores. One of my favorite parts of the show was when he came out for his first encore and covered The Band's song The Weight, and having all four band members sing a verse from the song. That seemed to be a crowd-pleaser as everyone in the audience cheered heartily each time a different band member sang, seemingly surprised every time - or maybe that was just me. I loved it though.

The feel for this kind of concert is very different from what I'm used to with my usual punk show selection. With those ones the music is loud and fast, and it's easy to get swept up with the whole crowd. This one is a lot more relaxing, a good concert for a date.

This is Mason performing Jackson Square:

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