For some reason, it struck me that the Exhibit(s) were a good fit opening for Chris Thile.
Not that we were bad, mind you; just mismatched. Chris is a mandolinist (he is part of Nickel Creek), with a voice that at one point I tried to mistake for Paul Simon. Good songs, talented musician (he’s like the Yngwie Malmsteen of mandolin, in fact — only, to be fair, with taste), but no matter how much of a bluegrass influence Eric might have in his background, our passive-agggressive rock really was worlds away from the singer-songwriter atomosphere that Chris brought to Vulcan yesterday.
I was a really good time, though, and thanks to all who were able to come out. It was a beautiful day (a bit hot for me, but as everyone is so quick to point out, I’m utterly out of touch with ideal temperatures), and the best moments onstage were feeling the occasional breezes blow past.
It was really nice, too, to have a few things that we don’t usually have: a monitor mix, a soundman, an audience in the triple digits. But even that was a little weird, and while it may be that I’ve just grown accustomed to playing at Bailey’s week after week, it felt… I don’t know, maybe disconnected? I think I kind of understand what arena-level artists say when they talk about missing the intimacy of the clubs. It felt yesterday like we were playing to people; normally, it’s more like we’re playing among them.
I’m not sure that I want to get used to that feeling. It makes it harder for someone to carry a quartet of Jager shots to the stage in the middle of a song, for instance.