Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nick Lowe - "The Old Magic" - In Concert

Last night Sue and I treated ourselves to a mutual birthday gift. We saw Nick Lowe at the McGlothon Theater, which is located in Spirit Square in “uptown” Charlotte. Nick Lowe; for those unfamiliar with him as an artist; is one of the key people who kept rock and roll alive and kicking during the 1970’s disco craze. And when the end of that decade rolled around; with Punk Rock all the rage; Nick Lowe, along with Dave Edmunds, formed “Rockpile”, once again keeping the genre viable and raucous. And, people like me are glad they did. But sometime during the late 1990’s, Mr. Lowe re-invented his approach to some of his older tunes, and at the same time, developed a new way to express his more current thoughts.

For a while I had heard that Mr. Lowe was alive and well, living in Amsterdam for obvious reasons. (You can puzzle that one out for yourselves.) But last year he released a brand new album; on vinyl no less; titled “The Old Magic.” It is aptly named, as Mr. Lowe proved last night here in Charlotte. With a mixture of old songs, along with the new, he beguiled the audience for several hours, performing old favorites solo, and telling stories between numbers.
His performance of some of the new material; including “Sensitive Man” and “Somebody Cares for Me”; which are my two favorites from the new album; was absolutely wonderful, and would have been enough to satisfy me. But, at the audience’s insistence, Mr. Lowe came back for 3 encores. I was thrilled to see him play solo, using only 1 guitar throughout his extraordinary performance, and no capo to boot. His voice is as strong and expressive as ever, and his easy attitude with the audience was a delight to all.

I haven’t been able to find a video that does justice to last night’s solo, acoustic performance, but here he is performing with Wilco, a band which consists of Patrick Sansone, Mikael Jorgensen, Jeff Tweedy , Nels Cline, Glenn Kotche, John Stirratt. While this video may sound lush and full, there is nothing better than seeing your favorite artist striped down to the bare minimum, highlighting just what you love about their work. Seeing Mr. Lowe perform last night reinforced my suspicion that the “old magic” is not only back; but for some of us, it never left in the first place. It was a wonderful concert, in one of our favorite venues. What a great way to celebrate our birthdays together; listening to music which we both love. (And that’s not always easy to find!)

Well, it only took a day for someone to post this video from the concert at McGlothon on October 9th in Charlotte. So, here is Nick Lowe as I saw him from the 6th row.

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