Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ian Moore

I write, because I am too wound up to sleep yet. I write, because I feel the need to capture something here, to hold a moment in time still for long enough to show it to another. I cup it in my hands, hold it lightly, protected from the passing winds of time, and try to find another to show. “See? See what I have found?”

I made a trek to Austin tonight, to try to squeeze into the smallish Cactus Cafe. Ian Moore and Kullen Kuchs were playing there, and, bonuses for me, Billy Harvey was opening for them. When Ian and Kullen played the Red Room in SA awhile back, I was a novice to Ian’s stage performance. I knew of his music, but live is always something more than the recording. Recordings are often made over long periods of time, with enough spaces in between to allow for change of mood and mind. A live performance calls on things in one’s soul that might not always translate to the tape machine. The interaction between performer and audience adds nuances.

At the Red Room, I was blown away in less than a single song, and like the rest of that audience, was entranced. I wasn’t certain that tonight would be the same. That little room has its own power, its own presence, built partly by Delphine and partly by all the amazing music that has been performed there. I knew Ian was powerful onstage, but what about the room?

I found out that it isn’t just the place in his case. He and Kullen wound a similar web at the Cactus, pulling in even the most stubborn of attendees. Some people just do not get the idea of sitting and listening; there is some weird need to talk, especially when alcohol has been added to the mix. Taking command, both with the intensity and subtlety of the music, and a wry sense of humour, seems to be one of Ian’s strengths. I found myself putting my fingers and hands over my mouth quite a lot, to keep from letting out a squeal or yelp. The level of emotion pouring out off that stage was overwhelming. It was quite difficult to not let out an at inopportune time some burst of excitement on my part!

Once again, they walked out into the audience, to play a few acoustic numbers, and this time I was one of the ones so close to them both I could probably tell you the weave of their pants! (Sorry, but I was sitting after all!)
The sound system did a good job of delivering the music, but to be where the ambience of both voices and guitars could brush across my skin was wonderful. There is nothing quite like an intimate song from someone right next to you. And what harmonies! They finished their little audience foyer with “True Love’s Ways”, an Everly Brothers tune. Not many folk in my life know it, but I have had a lifelong crush on Phil Everly, and well, Phil, I am afraid you may have gotten shoved out of that seat tonight! Wow. I adore the Everlys’ harmonies, but these two so outdid the original. I would love to hear them put it as a hidden track on the next CD. Just astounding.


Whew. The drive to and from Austin, combined with being excited all day, and thrilled for several hours, has left my body a bit worn out. To sleep I go, knowing that I am probably lagging behind Ian and Kullen. They both looked done for at the end of the encore. They’ve been on a long tour, and now it’s time for some rest. I am hoping it won’t be too far in the future before I get to hear either or both live again, but this evening will be ringing in my ears and my dreams for several days.
Thank you guys. You are, as I said, magical.

(and Billy bear? you know I love you sweetie, but I will write of thee maybe tomorrow, after a bit of rest. You have a special place in my heart always.)


Anonymous said...

heya... my name is dave . you can find me in ian moore's comments section of his myspace page (ninjapants guy). great review. sadly, I missed the show at the red room a while back. a fact I feel even more bad about given last nights experience. he did a show at Jack's with kullen several months ago which was amazing, but what's more amazing is how much the venue can alter the performance. I mean he brings eerything he has to every show, but when the venue fits the music, it creates something really special. Ian belongs in the Majestic Theater, not sub-burban bars for frat boys. But that being said, everything you said about the Cactus show is right on target. i've seen Ian about 20 times in the last 4 years. I always try to bring new people to see his show, but last night everyone canceled on me so I took the drive from san antonio to austin alone. of all the shows of his I have seen, last night was definately something special. all of his shows are great, but last night left nearly left me at a loss for words.

of course I blogged about it anyway on myspace but, whatever. ha.

Rob said...

I loved Ian Moore in the early 90's when he was playing electic with his band. I have to admit I was not too happy when he split with the guys and then moved to Seattle. I have not really paid much attention since. After reading your review, I might have to check him out again to see what the fuss is about.