Read all the pamphlets and watch the tapes

Jul 17 2007

Travis is Back In Black!


Yesterday I told Ms. Smith that I was "stupidly excited" about going to see Travis last night, but at the same time I was worried that I was setting my expectations too high. I shouldn't have. They put on one of the best shows I have ever seen that the 9:30 Club. I had trouble sleeping last night because I was so energized by the show. I'm still pumped now as I write this.

Normally I absolutely abhor it when bands play "greatest hits" sets. But when it's been seven years since you've seen a band, those type of sets aren't exactly a bad thing. In fact, last night the set was perfect.
Because they played "Back In Black."
On a whim.
As the last song of the night.
Someone in the crowd shouted it out as a request just before they played "Why Does It Always Rain On Me" as what was supposed to be the last song of the night. So when they were done with that song, Andy started doing the AC/DC riff. The crowd was unsure if this was for real or not, and then Fran started doing his best Brian Johnson impression and it was on from there. I'm not sure they played it as well as AC/DC could, but they definitely had more fun doing it. We got the full rockstar poses and everything. It was awesome.

Other highlights from the show:
- The band entered from the back of the venue and wandered their way through the crowd wearing silk boxing robes while the "Theme To Rocky" played over the PA. Once they hit the stage, they were soundtracked by James Brown's "Living In America." Best.
- They played "Pipe Dreams," my favorite Travis song other than "Writing To Reach You."
- Fran asking the crowd to chant the touring keyboardist's name, Claes, while he was playing the piano solo in "Good Feeling."
- While instructing the audience to do so, telling everyone that Claes was Swedish and Swedish people are anal. But not in the porn way. But wait, yes. Maybe in the porn way too. Although Fran couldn't speak for Claes in this particular matter.
- Fran played "20" solo on the acoustic. It's been years since I've heard this song. It's a b-side from the "All I Want To Do Is Rock" single and I had totally forgotten about the song until he played it.
- Speaking of "All I Want To Do Is Rock," when it was time for his "big solo" Andy climbed the PA stack trying to get to the dressing room balcony above. He almost didn't make it. He pulled himself up from the PA onto the balcony just using his arms while his guitar was slung over his back. No mean feet. Also, when he finally got up there, he flopped over the railing like Nick Frost "leaps" over fences in Hot Fuzz. Hi-lar-ious.
- The new songs from The Boy With No Name all sounded great, especially "My Eyes" and "Eyes Wide Open."
- Playing "Flowers In The Window" like a barbershop quintet. Only with a guitar. Fran was wearing it, but Andy hit the notes on the frets and Dougie did the strumming. It was like a great, big Travis reach around! "This is so close to something else," Fran laughingly said during the song. Indeed.
- Fran instructing the crowd that he wanted each and every person the venue to pogo during the last chorus to "Why Does It Always Rain On Me." And you know what? We all did. Everyone. It was brilliant. I've never seen a D.C. crowd do anything close to that before. This was a show where you left your pretensions at the door and just had fun. More concerts need to be like this.
- Nigel Godrich was in attendance!
- Back In mother-effing Black!

Plain and simple, that was one of the best shows I have ever seen in D.C. Maybe in the Top-10 Best Concerts Ever list. My mind grapes were thoroughly and completely squeezed last night.

But wait! Here's the best part. NPR webcast the show last night so you can enjoy all of this for your very own. Go here to check it out. You can also see Joel's photos from last night, which unlike my own, are actually in focus.

Posted by Kyle in Photos | Permalink


i'm glad you didn't dwell on the minor negatives, but you didn't even mention the hot, sticky sweaty that was the 930 club last night?!

Posted by: jillian at July 17, 2007 11:31 AM

Back in Black? Are you kidding me? Sounds awesome. Totes jealous!

Posted by: Uncle Grambo at July 19, 2007 1:41 PM

Wow, I can't believe I ended up skipping the Boston show last week. That sounds incredible. I'll definitely be checking out that NPR link - thanks!

Posted by: Jerad at July 20, 2007 8:08 AM

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