27 April 2006

An Audience With A Goddess

"It was like being at church," said one of my companions, and that was about right. There was an atmosphere of such hushed reverence throughout Rose Melberg's performance last night that unless you looked over your shoulder and saw the Yankees game playing silently on the slightly out-of-focus TV, a smallish bar in Brooklyn was just about the last place you'd imagine yourself being.

That wasn't the case before Rose took the stage. But the minute she, slightly modesty and hesitating, stepped up to the microphone, everything went dead silent. The few words that were exchanged among members of the crowd were in whispers, and the mood was so contagious that when midway through the show someone asked Andrea, Rose's backup singer, if she wanted some more water, he felt compelled to whisper his inquiry. She whispered back, "No, thanks," and everybody burst out laughing. Then promptly fell silent again, except of course for the rapturous applause after each song. I don't think I heard so much as the clinking of a glass throughout her set of perhaps 40-45 minutes.

She played a lot of news songs, a few of which I'd already heard here, and one Softies song especially pertinent to my own life that had me in bits. Then she did a Tiger Trap song from around 1993 that was even more pertinent, and simultaneously honoured and embarrassed me by dedicating the song to, "Larry, who was part of the Tiger Trap story back in the old, old days."

Although I wasn't sure I appreciated the "old, old" part of the dedication, and my "part" in the Tiger Trap story consisted of little more than standing in the audience being awestruck, it still made me feel pretty special. The whole night did, really. Rose is going to be doing a few shows on the West Coast in May. Anyone in the vicinity, especially if you're a fan of exquisitely beautiful and heartfelt songs, check it out.


Anonymous said...

that's cool, what were the softies and tiger trap songs specifically?

here's video of her playing Take Some Time from youtube:

Larry Livermore said...

"Love You More" and "You're Sleeping."