Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dark Was The Night 5/3/09

On Sunday night, a few buddies and I went to see the Dark Was The Night benefit show at Radio City Music Hall (one of my favorite venues). The show consisted of several bands, each playing approximately 2-4 songs. What was really cool was how many of the bands came out to support each other, whether on backing vocals or instruments, there were a lot of great collaborations. My friend JT got us fantastic seats, front row of the first balcony so we had a dead on view of the stage without any obstructions (this was a huge help for taking videos since I could just put the camera on the ledge in front of me). Here were some of the highlights for me:

- David Byrne and The Dirty Projectors: David Byrne came out a couple songs into their set to sing the song "Knotty Pine" that's on the benefit album, cool song and it was fun to see David Byrne in person, this was my first time seeing him perform.

- My Brightest Diamond: I didn't know much about her before the show but man can she sing, great voice. My favorite part was when she came out and sang "Flume" with Bon Iver (see the video below).

- The National: They played two new songs, "England" and "Vanderlylle Cry Baby" (I think that's right). I really like these guys, so it was great to hear some new material. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver also came out and played electric guitar during one of the songs and had a pretty sick solo.

- David Byrne: He came out accompanied by a six piece percussion group and went right into the song "Don't Fence Me In", great tune.

- Bon Iver: I just love these guys, I was really excited to hear them in Radio City and they didn't disappoint. They played four songs and the highlight was probably "Big Red Machine" with Matt Berninger of the National singing vocals with Justin. Awesome set.

- Feist: This was my first time seeing her perform also and she came out solo with an acoustic guitar. Not an easy thing to do in front of a full house at Radio City but she sounded great. I loved a song she sang called "Look At What The Light Did Now".

- Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: I've seen them before so I knew to expect some high energy and they delivered. Sharon is such a great performer/entertainer, you couldn't help but feed off her energy. They closed their set with a great song, "100 Days, 100 Nights".

After they wrapped up, all the performers (except for David Byrne I think) came out to sing "This Land Is Your Land" in a folky "campfire like" sing-a-long. A couple of minutes in, Sharon Jones walks back out and interrupts and goes into an up-tempo funk version with the Dap Kings. This got people up and out of their chairs and dancing in the aisles, good time and a fun way to end a great Sunday night at Radio City.

Here's some videos I took:

David Byrne & Dirty Projectors: "Knotty Pine"

Bon Iver & Matt Berninger (The National): "Big Red Machine"

Bon Iver & My Brightest Diamond: "Flume"

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