Monday, May 4, 2009

Dark Was The Night @ Radio City Music Hall 5/3 (Review, Setlist, Pictures)

This one had undoubtedly been circled on everyone's calendars for awhile. The Dark Was The Night Concert w/ The Dirty Projectors, My Brightest Diamond, David Byrne, The National, Bon Iver, Feist, Dave Sitek, and Sharon Jones. The night brought some surprises and some very impressive performances. Most of my pictures from the night were pretty sh!tty, but I'll try to provide a recap of the evening for those that couldn't be there.

Things got underway promptly with The Dirty Projectors taking the stage at about 8:15. They performed a couple tunes that included some impressive vocals from Amber Coffman and were then joined on stage by David Byrne to play a couple more, included was their song from the compilation, "Knotty Pine".
After a few introductory words from John Carlin, the executive director of the Red Hot Organization, My Brightest Diamond took the stage for a quick one. Led by Shara Worden in a cutie little dress they performed the Nina Simone cover "Feeling Good." I admit to not knowing this band at all prior to this show, but WOW, Shara Worden was awesome. I'll have to do some follow up listening of her stuff. (We may have a future RHOTW...)
Following a gear change and a short video on the big screens (was it Sinead O'Connor during that break?) The National took the stage. These guys and in particular band members Aaron and Bryce Dessner were a driving force behind this project. I was excited to hear them open with my favorite off their album Boxer, "Slow Show".
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They followed that with a new tune that I missed th title of and then their track from the DWTN compilation, "So Far Around The Bend". Great tune. They took us into the intermission with another new one. I couldn't make out the title. Lead singer Matt Berninger's mumbling vocals carry over to his stage speak as well I guess.
During the break the crowd had about twenty minutes to refuel, hit the restroom, and mingle a bit. It was during this time that one of our party spotted Matt Berninger making his way up the side aisle right near us. With a little help and encouragement from friends I waited patiently while he was on the phone to grab a quick photo with my fellow mumbler. He was gracious when asked for the photo and as evidenced by my big cheese I was giddy at the opportunity. Chhee-eeese.
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After I settled down from that excitement, Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio came on for a song. This was followed by three tunes from David Byrne, all tunes that he had contributed to Red Hot Compilations from the past and ones he had never performed live before (according to John Carlin). One of these he did with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and another with Leslie Feist. All three were accompanied by a group of energetic percussionists banging away on their drums.
Next up was the performer that I thought truly brought down the house, Justin Vernon from Bon Iver. He was stunning. He played four songs. I don't know them all, but "Blood Bank" and "Big Red Machine" with Matt Berninger were unreal. That guy can flat out sing.
Another impressive vocalist was up next in Leslie Feist. She played four songs as well highlighted by a bluesy jam on the electric to finish things off. Our former RHOTW was looking good in a see through top. I never realized how small she is. She can't be much over 5 feet tall, but she's got some serious pipes on her.
To close out the night Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings took us through a few dance-able songs. I definitely caught her "100 Days, 100 Nights" in there. Speaking of a voice...she packs a punch.
The night was closed out with a Sharon led rendition of "This Land Is Our Land". It was a great show for a great cause and I feel lucky that I got to catch it. My pics being suspect, I'll try to get a link up here for those that hit the interwebs in the days to come.
The setlist for the night is included below...time for me to get some sleep.
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Dark Was The Night @ Radio City Music Hall 5/3/09 - Setlist (partial)
1. Dirty Projectors - "Useful Chamber"
2. Dirty Projectors - "Stillness Is The Move"
3. Dirty Projectors - "Ambulance Man" w/ David Byrne
4. Dirty Projectors - "Knotty Pine" w/ David Byrne
5. My Brightest Diamond - "Feeling Good"
6. The National - "Slow Show"
7. The National - "England"
8. The National - "So Far Around The Bend"
9. The National - "Vanderlylle Cry Baby"
10. Dave Sitek - "With A Girl Like You"
11. David Byrne - "Don't Fence Me In"
12. David Byrne - "Dreamworld: Marco de Canavezes" w/ Justin Vernon
13. David Byrne - "Waters Of March" w/ Leslie Feist
14. Bon Iver - "Brackett, WI"
15. Bon Iver - "Blood Bank"
16. Bon Iver - "Big Red Machine" w/ Matt Berninger
17. Bon Iver - "Flume"
18. Feist - "The Wagoner's Lad"
19. Feist - "Look At What Light Did Now"
20. Feist - "Train Song" w/ Justin Vernon
21. Feist - "Someday Baby"
22. Sharon Jones - "Not Gonna Cry"
23. Sharon Jones - "When I Come Home"
24. Sharon Jones - "Inspiration Information"
25. Sharon Jones - "100 Days, 100 Nights"
All - "This Land Is Our Land"

Thanks to Brooklyn Vegan and its commenters for helping us fill in some gaps on the setlist. Check out the pics from BV's Natasha Ryan as well.

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