Well, it was a full weekend of live music, and in varying settings too. A couple weeks ago we won an actual prize for winning pub trivia – Ani DiFranco tickets. So I knew we were (most likely) doing that on Saturday. And I’d bought tickets to see Typhoon at the Wex Sunday night. But first, a SURPRISE.
A few weeks ago, Parker said he might have something for us to do on September 20, but he prefaced this by asking just how bad my motion sickness is. (I can barely ride in the backseat of a car without feeling nauseated.) So I told him I could take some Dramamine and hope for the best, still not knowing what potentially nausea-inducing activity I’d agreed to.
So Friday rolls around, and I get in the car unaware of our destination. Two hours later we’re in the southeastern Ohio city of Marietta, walking down to the riverbank of the Muskingum. (Confession, I didn’t know what river it was.) As we get closer to the river, I realize what we’re doing – WE’RE TAKING A RIVERBOAT CRUISE. Awesome. But I started looking around and noticed some people wearing 40s era themed outfits. I’ve never been on a riverboat, so I didn’t know if this was a regular thing, like how a handful of people actually dress up for Ladies 80s. As I stepped onto the boat, a woman handed me a flyer:
It was a floating riverboat concert with Pokey LaFarge! COOOOOOL. I realized some of the people I’d seen dressed up were band members. They play jazz/ragtime/country/music you’d hear on a riverboat and wear stylized clothes from the 40s. Check out the website. There were more non-band members dressed up, so it’s still unclear whether people just dress up for riverboat rides or they are big time Pokey fans. Regardless, it was a really unique and fun event. (Also, I didn’t feel sick!)
On to Saturday night. Truthfully, I’ve never listened to Ani DiFranco, unless someone puts one of her songs on a mix for me. But we still wanted to go check it out. Overall, it was a good show, despite knowing only a couple of her songs. She didn’t really pick up speed until the last half hour, and she only played for about an hour and twenty minutes. If I was a diehard fan and had paid $30 plus service fees, I may have been disappointed with the length of the show. Still cool to see a legend of the singer/songwriter world.
And finally, Sunday night. I was really excited when I saw that Typhoon was coming to the Wex. Usually their ticket pricing is reasonable and it’s a nice change from other music venues. Sadly, this show was in their “black box” set up, which is not my fav. If you haven’t been to a show like this, let me explain. In the black box set up, everyone is standing on the stage. The curtain is drawn, so you don’t see the auditorium, and there is a smaller stage set up at one end of the real stage. So in one aspect it’s interesting because it creates this intimate setting, but that’s also its downfall. NO ONE TALKS OR MOVES AROUND. Now I’m not saying I want people to talk through a whole set, but I mean that people are silent. It’s weird.
Anyway, I only recently heard Typhoon. Their second album, White Lighter, came out in August. I love the whole thing. Typhoon would probably be labeled “indie rock”, which is basically not a description, but they’re hard to categorize. There are 11 band members, with horns, two sets of drums, violins, guitars… And they actually sounded really good live. I’m always impressed when a band with a lot of members can still sound cohesive.
The lead singer and songwriter, Kyle Morton, was bitten by a tick as a kid and contracted Lyme Disease. Many of his songs are about growing up with this illness, and themes of mortality are common. Typhoon’s songs are often anthemic, in a good way (not in the party anthem way). My favorite off of White Lighter is Dreams of Cannibalism (I don’t know about that video though), but Young Fathers is also up there. They put on a really great show; I’d go seem them again tonight if I had the option.