Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
Wednesday October 4, 2006
Anyone who's been listening to Frank Black's solo albums for the last ten years shouldn't have been surprised by his show at the Mercy Lounge last Wednesday. For the past ten years, his albums have been exploring a rootsier side of his songwriting. Unfortunately many of those in attendence Wednesday night apparently didn't get the memo. Though the evening started with a packed house, by midway though the his set, the crowd seemed to have thinned by at least a third. Those who expected a Pixies greatest hits show might have been disappointed, but anyone who stuck around for the entirety of his show would be hard pressed to say the same.
He began the night by walking on stage alone with an acoustic guitar and apologizing for going all "singer-songwriter on you guys." Considering he followed with solo versions of the the Pixies' "Cactus" and Teenager Of The Year's "Abstract Plain," the apology was definitely not necessary. The three song solo set was followed up with a five song mini-set featuring several of the Nashville session musicians that have been featured on his last two albums, beginning with an acoustic take on "Wave Of Mutilation" and ending with an outstanding guitar and piano version of "Los Angeles." The rest of his hour and forty-five minute set saw his regular touring outfit running through a variety of selections from his solo albums.
Frank Black - "John Barleycorn" (mp3) from Fast Man Raider Man
Frank actually had quite a busy night in Nashville last Wednesday. To kick it off, he played a 40 minute solo in-store set at Grimey's. Unfortunately work kept me from getting back to Nashville in time for that. To cap off the evening, he sat in with former Catholics guitarist Rich Gilbert and the Travis Mann Band at Robert's Western World on Lower Broad. I didn't make that either, but you can see pictures of it (and the Mercy Lounge show) at thefanoftheman's Flickr page.
post title by Jimmy Forrest