With only one day left in the month, I’m finally back to say hello and put something on the scoreboard (so to say) for April. And it’s not that I haven’t been out and about. Trouble with juggling the various Twitter feeds and examiner columns is that it lulls me into thinking I’ve covered the bases. And/or I let ideas and “should write about…”s build up and then I get stuck like ye olde proverbial deer in the headlights.
But you, dear blog pals, who’ve been with me the longest, deserve better. So, let’s take baby steps. One little post at a time.
Had a most lovely weekend just past. And, as is usually the case when I’ve having a good time, music played a part. As I mentioned before, I’m a member of many artist-related web sites, including some mentioned here for misplaced birthday messages (come to think of it, I didn’t get any greetings when it actually was my birthday!). And last week, one of those artists – British singer Ellie Goulding – sent a note announcing that she was coming to D.C. to run in the first annual Nike half-marathon and would be doing an invite-only show for fans and fellow runners. Sending an email put me in the running to score a pair of tickets and, slow and beholden, I won.
The concert was at the 9:30 Club, recently named one of the best clubs in the nation by Rolling Stone, and was to start at the pleasant late afternoon hour of 6pm so that the club could get on with its usual Saturday night business, a show with Robyn Hitchcock and Peter Buck. (BTW, I previewed that show and a few others for examiner, if you wanna check it out. I’ve redesigned the column- like the new look?)
Corporate sponsored shows can be a drag, but Nike was pretty cool about this deal. When my plus-one and I entered, we were offered free snacks – a variety of chips, power bars and candy – plus sodas and bottled water were free from the bar. The ladies room had fresh cut flowers in vases, a throw rug and one of those little baskets with “ladies things.” A member of the staff was even on duty, handing out towels to dry your hands! (The young woman and I had a laugh over keeping such elements for hard rock shows.)
Again, because of time constraints, there was no opening act and the show started bang-on-the-dot at 6 with an intro from some nice young Nike spokeswoman who thanked all the runners in the crowd, some of whom had clocked 9,000 hours in preparation for the next day’s race. (My mileage to date? O.) And the corporate connection with Goulding was a clean one – she’s an avid runner who tries to do six miles a day even when she’s on tour.
Nike sponsored Goulding’s show.
So, the opening video of Goulding getting ready and hitting the streets for a run was acceptable and the occasional flash of a logo on her gear made sense. She never mentioned the company by name in her between-song chats, though she did invite anyone who saw her the next day to run beside her. And those staffers with the munchies just kept coming! I’m not the type to turn down free snackage, so I kept saying thanks and filling my bag. When I got home and emptied it, it appeared I had robbed a 7-11.
WHAT ABOUT THE MUSIC?!?! You say? Well, I’m going to write about the show for examiner (I should be doing that now, actually) and thus I’m back to that blog/column dichotomy. Here’s a quick summation – she’s got a lovely voice, not all of the songs stick, and she can’t seem to decide whether she’s an indie-folk singer/songwriter or a dancepop diva. I generally preferred the songs from the latter camp. “Anything Can Happen” is the latest single and a real ripper. Her debut American hit, “Lights,” is also a great song, but the live version built to an overly bombastic climax that kinda ruined it. (Let’s see how many of my own phrases I re-purpose for the photo gallery/report.)
Since I wasn’t actually press, I didn’t bring my SLR, but I got some reasonable shots with my little Lumix and scored a set list, so take a moment to visit the WGP page. Here’s a taste of the pics…
Ellie Goulding at the 9:30 Club the night before her half-marathon run.
6pm shows are actually quite nice. And, as I left the club, still in daylight and heading home for a nice dinner, I walked right past Peter Buck, shlepping his own guitar into the club for the show that would be starting in the next hour. “Have a good show,” I said casually and, though he seemed surprised to be noticed (this was a young girl crowd; not alt-rocker types), he smiled and said thanks. A nice way to end the event.
[As I’m typing this, I’ve got the TV on, watching an On Demand repeat of last night’s Colbert Report with Iggy and the Stooges. Iggy, you’re a legend, and rightfully so, but you gotta start wearing a shirt…]