Pax (funcrunch) wrote,

Tribute to Nick Drake's Pink Moon

Just got home from an excellent tribute concert to my favorite album, Pink Moon by Nick Drake. I've loved this album since I first heard the title song in a car commercial back in the year 2000, which is how many others first discovered this artist who was unappreciated in his time and died tragically young.

I've listened to Pink Moon hundreds of times, and love it specifically because of its sparse and raw qualities (only vocals and acoustic guitar, with just a sprinkling of piano on the title track). So I wasn't sure if I'd like interpretations that deviated sharply from the originals. Fortunately, of the eleven different artists (individuals and groups) covering the songs, I liked nearly all of the performances. Some highlights, ordered by track:

3. Road: Real Vocal String Quartet. Great arrangement, retaining all the driving energy of the original while adding some vocal harmony.

5. Horn: David Boyce. A transcendental tenor sax performance with live looping and trippy effects. Theme and variations on the original, short instrumental. Profound.

8. Parasite: Freddi Price. On the album this is my least favorite track, but I loved this arrangement. The piano and vocals were particularly strong, and as a bonus my friend Chris Grady played trumpet.

9. Free Ride: Ramon and Jessica. Really well-executed a capella arrangement; they nailed it. ETA: Video here.

11. From The Morning: Jazz Mafia. I wasn't sure I liked this at first, but then about a dozen trumpet and trombone players came out into the audience and onto the stage and it was just happy and wonderful and a perfect ending.

Some not-as-great parts:

4. Which Will: Kally Price. The singing and playing were good, but the only parts of the original song retained were the lyrics. It wasn't a reinterpretation, it was an entirely different song.

6. Things Behind The Sun: Pocket Full of Rye. This is my favorite song on the album, so I was prepared for possible disappointment. The band's arrangement and performance were actually fine, especially the singing, but the sound was marred and I could barely hear the guitar and cello. A real shame as cello sounded like it would have been a really nice addition on this song.

7. Know: Broken Shadows Family Band. Sounded a bit uneven, and a change in the lyrics altered the meaning of the song 180 degrees for me. (Original was "Know that I love you / Know I don't care." Band changed second line to "Know that I care.") ETA: My solo bass version here.

Video projections: Sound was inconsistent during the recorded interviews with the artists (shown in between songs, during set changes). Animations and other videos accompanying each song varied widely in execution and interestingness.

So glad I discovered this show randomly on Facebook. Also very happy that both boyziggy and my sweetie Ben could join me for it. Ben was also lucky enough to spot a cozy couch on the balcony which was a perfect fit for the three of us, so though we had to deal with some loud talkers, we didn't have to stand for the whole show. A memorable evening.

ETA: They had yummy vegan cookies at the show too!
Tags: concert

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