Monday, July 2, 2012

David Gray and Yuna (LIVE)

Last Friday night I had the distinct pleasure of seeing yet another amazing concert.  The best friend and I took off Friday around mid morning to drive to Louisville, KY in 106 degree weather to brave an outdoor event.  It's one of those things that you have to do when a British artist is touring the States and you want to see them  (Read my posts about the four and five hour trips I've made in the past 2 years to see concerts).  There are just things that you do in order to see amazing live shows, that's all I'm saying.  So back to the story.  I am a fan of David Gray.  There is no doubt about that but I am not the biggest fan.  I am familiar with about 6 of his songs and I know them really well.  The venue we were attending the concert at was an outdoor amphitheater and by the middle of David's set, there wasn't an empty seat in the 2500 seat capacity.    (By the way... with general admission, we were able to get seats on the second row - we were approximately 40 feet away from the stage) More incredibly, the tickets said the show started at 8 and at 8 o'clock exactly, Yuna took the stage.  This was something that impressed me a great deal and proved they were on their game as far as being professional and following through as they should.

The first time I think I heard him was in the movie, All Over The Guy when "Please Forgive Me" is playing as Tom rushes across town to make amends Eli.  It's one of those moments in cinema that is forever cemented in my mind and I will always make the correlation between that song and that visual.  On top of that, Sean and I watched that movie many times and it became a favorite of both of ours, for completely different reasons (of course) but nonetheless, we both dug the song.  There's another reason this concert meant as much as it did to me.  There was a ton of memory and emotion wrapped up in that one song that I wanted to make sure that the actual experience lived up to this ideal in my head and when I tell you it didn't come close,  you have to understand that it's because of how much of an amazement this man is in concert.

His opening act was a young singer called Yuna.  She hails from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and sings some of the coolest, most funky pop music you'll ever hear.  She has this little voice that just shoots up through the rafters and has this calm power to it that you don't expect at all.  She did 5 songs and commented on how hot Kentucky was and we laughed because if it was hot to her... that means it's hella hot.

After her set, there was some last minute sound checking and instrument testing and an hour later, David took the stage.  Never have I seen an artist so enraptured with their own music.  Every song he played was a memory wrapped up into the song.  You could see on his face, in his body and hear in his voice how each and every song was a personal piece of art that he still loved singing and sharing with people.  We stood for the next two hours and song after song he gave to us with out any reservation.  The live versions of his songs just let him go to where he needed to go and the path was so well drawn, we were able to easily go with him.  Taking a three minute song and turning it into a massive six minute (or 13 minute) ode to the love of the art was done so effortlessly.  I can tell you that without a shadow of a doubt, I quickly became a huge fan of his after the show.

Here's his 13 minute version of Nightblindness. Pay attention toward the 5 1/2 minute mark where he turns it into "Purple Rain" by Prince.  Watching this video we were probably 25 feet to the person's right who was recording this.  He is an incredible, incredible performer. I am so happy that I got the opportunity to experience this show with the Best Friend. He was super giddy and it made me very happy to be with him.

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