Saturday night, I got to see one of my favorite singer-songwriters perform at a venue I'd never been to before. Terminal 5 has some not so stellar online reviews, but in my own, very humble opinion, I thought it was just fine. In size and layout it reminds me of the 9:30 Club in D.C., although a little less divey (they actually have a bathroom attendant!), and with more giant disco balls and crystal chandeliers.
One of the neat things about seeing shows in New York is that often, some random celebrity will show up on stage before the headliner to just chat it up a bit. Last night, Rainn Wilson, of Office fame, took a moment to talk to us about the words that most often appear in Josh Ritter's songs.
He also did this bit where he read us a "new" Josh Ritter song, as composed by an algorithm created by a team of MIT grad students, using those words. I tried to get some video of this, but being three whiskeys into the night already, I was only able to turn my camera off and on several times, and then toggle back and forth between the photo settings at a rapid speed. Luckily, someone had it together enough to capture it:
Josh Ritter "Come and Find Me" Intro by Rainn Wilson and John Krasinski from Patrick Glennon on Vimeo.
Also, John Krasinksi was there!
Monsieur Ritter did not disappoint, and though the performance was similarly great, it was a very different show than when I saw him over the summer, which is a good thing. I've been to see acts that always put on the same show, regardless of how much time has passed, and being able to keep things fresh and new for your audience is an important skill for a performer to have. Saturday's show was part of the "Valentine's Day" tour, so he mostly played from his extensive repertoire of love songs. Predictably, "Lantern" made me cry.
I was really happy that the decidedly non-mushy "Harrisburg," and "Folk Bloodbath" made it on the list. Things took a weird turn in the middle of "Harrisburg" and it morphed into The Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime" there for a little bit before swinging back around. Oh, Josh.
My one tiny complaint was that he didn't play "Snow Is Gone," which seemed like a glaring omission, but maybe that's just because it's one of my favorites and I want to hear it every hour of every day, everywhere I go.
I was so happy to be at this show, and to share it with some of my most awesome people. After the encore, I turned to my friends and said, "Wow, that was kind of a short set, wasn't it?" To which everyone was like, "Dude, he just played for two hours. Get it together."
Mr. Josh Ritter, when we're together, time stands still. Won't you be my Valentine?