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Surprise Me Mr. Davis


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SMMD with the Slip and Nathan Moore completely and utterly exceded all expectations last night, which were already freaking high to begin with.

I bought a new lens yesterday in Burlington, inspired by the fact that I was bringing my camera to the Higher Ground last night. Thanks for the advice Studog! Hopefully you remember our chat at the Duo show in Hamilton :D

We should have a review and the photos together this week sometime and I'll just put a few up in the forums for now. I'm not sure if my new gallery will be ready. Hell, I might just use the old one temporarily.

I can't wait to here other reports from Guigsy et al.





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A few people have contacted me this morning wondering what Saturday night was like, so I am quickly adding this during my break (I am too busy to do anything but a brainstorm on this front).

Exile on the Honkytonk Main Street

The title is how Vermont Dave and I came to define the night, and it worked fairly true. Obviously not the whole night, but it felt like that. Nathan Moore seemed to channel Tom Waits and/or Steve Earle at times. Loved all his songs and it is obvious the Slip do as well. They seemed really happy and inspired to be playing 'songs oriented in a song-type structure' with him. Not your typically Slip playing (you know, that 'rollercoaster out of control yet never leaves the track' sort of playing they have perfected), but it emerged from time to time. Some deep grooves by Marc and Andrew right from the get-go. fu©k, those two are tight.

I couldn't find any help from the soundman nor the merch dudes with regards to the setlist. The first song had a line about 'I want to get to heaven before I die', which may be what it is called, who knows. By the 4th song, the honkeytonk-rock factor had Mr Davis surprising me. Not that I had any expectations but it was more rocking than I expected. 5th and 6th songs had things slow down with some later-song punishing playing from Marc and Andrew. Nice slow builds that frantically knocked me down by the end of them. Rubberball had a nice backwards guitar intro from Brad with some great harmonies provided by him as well. Country flavour again in the next tune with Brad playing an acoustic guitar, "I might not make it this way again", something like that. The next song had Brad lay down out 3-4 loops during the beautiful intro and a mesmerizing harmonica solo from him as well. Some kind of Tick Tock song was next after the psychotic dolphin intro exploded what is left of my swiss cheese brain. Nathan sang to the girls by yelling out "Show me your tits". I tried, but he didn't see them. Some broad slapped my head. The "She is the spring of my winter and the summer of my fall" song was next and was more proof that these guys are well worth going to see.

Back to back Slip songs emerged and were well received by those in attendance. Suffocation Keep and Poor Boy, both played with the intensity we have come to love from these guys. Nathan played some sweet harmonica during Poor Boy and offered harmonies as well. MrsHux and I loved that sh!t. Another mellow-type ballad came out which featured a big build finish, yet again. Andrew and Marc were plowing through our chests during this frenetic finish. Just before they finished they started the last song (I think track 17 at this point) Nathan told us that he was leading Brad in this competition (first one to lose their air during the one chorus). He was up 2-1 but they were tied at 2 following this bluegrass sounding, mad-paced finger picking number. Brad plays fast, Jebas. Another line featuring the 'heaven' sort of theme (I think. Maybe its because I felt there for most of the night).

"You guys want to hear an obscure cover or a new one"

Obviously, I yelled out "BOOOOOOOOOTH!"

The three song encore began with Nathan telling us that he wrote the first song about his brother and the first time he ate mushrooms. Small under-scored child-like melody on what looked like a Fisher Price instrument from Brad with the main line being of the song being "Welcome to the real world" Which reminds me, tons of onstage chatter. Nathan is a true story teller and reminded me I don't get to see enough of these type of artists. David Bowie's Modern Love came out, sounding somewhat rearranged with regards to tempo and key. Well, the pace of it was certainly slowed down a touch (or I was a little too sped up). Their jazzy-sounding rendition of Before You Were Born with its 2 part harmonies and lounge-like atmosphere closed out the marvellously tell-tale evening.

(By the way, great travel partners. Thanks everyone. And Bouche? I cant believe some of the pictures we saw back at the hotel. Holy sh!t, the new lens is picture perfect. Country Cowboy? You would dig this combo of dudes alot.)

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I had heard quite a bit of Surprise Me Mr. David before the show and became familiar with many of the tunes. Obviously I was excited for the Slip and didn't really know whether Nathan Moore was my cup of tea. Ladies and gentleman, that was the best damn tea I've ever had!!!

I never would have thought that the Slip could be any more enjoyable than they are as a trio but Nathan Moore added SO much to the mix. His beautiful lyrics, his stage presence, his stories and his magic tricks, but more than anything it was the way he loosened everyone up. I'd never seen Mark Freidman crack a smile before but he was smiling all night, he was so animated with Nathan it was such a pleasure to watch. It was obvious how much the Slip boys respect him as both a song writer and a person. All of them were giddy and enjoying the evening as much as the audience was.

I had a smile on my face so large that my cheeks hurt and my eyes were squinted. I was absolutely enthralled all night (and truth be told for most of Sunday as well).

I have to agree with Booche about the excessive audience chatter. Had the music not been so engrossing to me, the talking would have really pissed me off. I hope the recordings magically bipassed all the talking and captured the fantastic performance.

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Secondtube, I picked up a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 AF lens. It's really really fast and I'm not going to have to worry about light too much anymore.

I forget what tune it was, but Brad grabbed the harmonica after his acoustic stopped working. he was fiddling with his cables and connections in between singin' then he just went on a little scat.

I noticed, however, that his pickup fell into the guitar hole and that was why it wasn't working. I turned to my new drummer friend 'Griffin' (Incidentally, his band may be playing moe.down tent this year) and said, "oops...he lost his pickup". Brad then quickly grabbed the harmonica.

At the end of the tune, he tilted up the body of his guitar and that's when he made the greatest "AWWWW sh!t" face, after noticing the pickup was gone.

They also did some magic tricks on stage. Nathan was singing a tune about a rubber ball and within, he went all 'Penn and Teller' and started popping those magic red balls out of his mouth. Damn that was brilliantly entertaining. As well, they invited a drunk girl on stage to do a rope trick.

Nathan also managed to comically insult a couple of guys at the stage concerning their clothes, while he complimented another pair of dudes who had managed to match their look-and-feel of the evening with some really cheesy suits.

There was so much to this show.

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Speaking of clothes, wear your suit when you see them.

I promise to be wearing some form of a suit the next time I catch them. It's the band's dream to see everyone dressed nice. I was wondering why a number of people had a tie on whilst they tied one on.

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i wore a suit-like outfit. nathan said he liked my jacket. ::

good show.. we had fun... i wish the venue sold beer... or anything for that matter. the free water was nice and all, but..... thats not rock n roll.

i like surprise me mr. davis.. i like what nathan brings to the band.. i get a real wilcoey kinda feel from it, and it works with the slip's crazy instrumentation.. you can really hear them doin some neat stuff underneath it all... wasnt the best show i saw, wasnt the worst, but it was a good show. i got my 'summer of my fall', which made me happy. woulda preferred to hear nathan sing 'holly would', but if i had never heard nathan do it before, im sure it woulda been fine to hear brad sing it. i really like that song 'rubber ball'... and whatever song they closed with was pretty awesome, too... yeah, it was good stuff, it just wasnt nearly as crazy or mind boggling as a slip show can be, which is fine, cuz its not the slip. its mostly nathan's songs. looking forward to hearing more from this band, and hoping they get the notion to add benevento on keys.. i think it'd really round out the sound quite nicely for the type of music they're making.

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I had a good time, the music was definitely sound, although, I found it hard to groove to. I felt like sitting at times and just listening and relaxing, however they did blow the ceiling off the place at the end, and I found my groove... I think my ignorance led to my disposition at times, and the venue was not condusive for myself---18-21yr olds, with no booze to be had!!!

I was lucky enough to meet the guys as well--very friendly chaps!!! ::

I must say that the ride there and back was a brilliant fu©king highlight of the experience--great company, great stories, great conversations---great music----

nothing like a little road trip to lighten up the soul--

kudos to Guigsy--JayDawg--Mr.Davis and Co. ::

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