that's what i'm talkin about.
i've said it before
, but i'll say it again--m. ward is an amazing
solo performer. as much as i longed for more after his show with a full band last september is how much i got--and one thousand times over--last night. all it took was the curtain pulling back to reveal matt playing "duet for guitars #3" for me to realize that the night was going to be pretty special. i don't think i could possibly overstate the wonder that is watching this man play the guitar--it is wondrous, mesmerizing, brilliant, breathtaking... this was the second time that i've seen him play a solo show and each time i have had to really look closely to make sure that he doesn't actually have six fingers on his right hand. the songs from his earlier releases shined just as you would expect them to when played live. especially nice was his delivery of the lines in "carolina"
used to feel like california with my baby's eyes so blue
now i feel like carolina, i split myself in two
now i'm walkin backwards from chicago through washington
oh but that ain't enough, no you want me to run
hearing the songs from post-war
, in slightly stripped down fashion, quieted any residual disappointment i was still carrying from last year. the sweetness of "poison cup", my favorite song of 2006
, was even more palpable without the strings and drums that made me love the studio version so much. and, in a seemingly rare candid moment, he told of how his song "today's undertaking" was "ripped off" from roy orbison's "in dreams", and proceeded to play each song in succession. each song, of course, being absolutely beautiful on the piano.
this being l.a., though, there of course had to be a surprise, and this time it came in the form of zooey deschanel
. chad from everybody cares
had posted a video
of the two of them performing together at the sundance film festival in park city, utah last week. but that recording did not do ms. deschanel's voice justice. because she really does have a voice, as chad said it, that could give jenny lewis
a run for her indie-queen money. she sang on six songs total, including the aforementioned "i put a spell on you", and even tried to break matt's guitar by dropping it on the floor--oops.
this night was everything that i had hoped it would be, and much, much more. the two times that i have seen him play solo have been two of the only times that i can really say i could stand and watch what was i seeing all night long. and of course i was not the only one who wanted him to, as one girl put it, "play forever!" this is the first concert i've seen this year, but i would not be the least surprised if this is my favorite show of the year. now, if arcade fire comes around to play a show other than coachella, that will be a different story...m. ward : "rag/duet for guitars #3 (medley)"
from an exclusive performance for pitchfork
(january 29, 2007)
(you can listen to it, but nothing beats seeing it