For the few people who follow me on Twitter (I have a private feed, so there aren’t many), they knew something was up yesterday when I tweeted the following:
Heading out for a long and secret adventure with Laura and Chris. Back around 1am, blog tomorrow! 😉
So mysterious. Now the mystery can be revealed. We have tickets to see Girlyman this Wednesday night (Nov 5th) at Joe’s Pub. We were intending to take Laura and Chris with us (Laura is the only member of her family to not see them in concert yet). Both Laura and Chris work in and around the Financial Services industry in NYC, and both have long and unpredictable hours.
We were worried that they might not be able to make even a 9:30pm show, so when I spotted the Golding Park Cafe gig, I made an unusual offer to them. They could take the train to our house, have lunch in Westchester, and drive with us for three hours, to guarantee that they would see Girlyman sooner rather than later. Thankfully, they liked the idea, and off we went.
I’ll complete the rest of the back story after I talk about the show itself (Lois will probably nag me that this intro has been too long already). 😉
Golding Park Cafe is a spectacular place to see a group like Girlyman, so we’re both thrilled that we made the effort to go there (Cobleskill, NY, for those who didn’t follow the link to the Cafe). I guess that they can accommodate a maximum of roughly 100 people, and there were close to that number last night. We sat in the front row. It was awesome.
Here they are, individually, as they stood on the stage, left-to-right:
There were two firsts for us last night:
- Girlyman took a break, and played two distinct sets. That hadn’t happened in any of our previous six shows.
- They purposely (and correctly) lowered the volume dramatically to fit the size, layout and mood of the place (thanks to Turtle – their road manager, and sound engineer last night – for doing that, and getting it just right!).
While everything was definitely amplified (voices as well as instruments), due to #2, it was closer to an unplugged (completely acoustic) experience, than any previous Girlyman show. It was mellower, and therefore somewhat different and very interesting. For one example, some of the songs seemed to be a 1/2 tempo slower, but purposely so, with all of them on the same page.
The other difference (not mentioned above) from their recent tour (where we saw them twice in VA) was a possible glitch in the live recording equipment. They now record all of their shows live, and if you buy (pre-pay) it after the show, they mail you the CD after they get back and mix it properly.
We purchased CDs for both of the VA shows that we attended (and are breathlessly awaiting their arrival). Last night, because of the possible glitch, Girlyman did not want to take anyone’s money in advance. Instead, they took email addresses for those who are interested, and if they can produce the CD when they get back from the tour, they will contact people and arrange to sell and deliver the CD.
As usual, they were on, in every sense of the word, as performers. They were really hysterical all night, including dealing with the possible recording glitch. They are quick witted, warm and engaging (with the audience, as well as between them), making for a wonderful evening of fantastic music and great laughs.
The show was called for 7:30pm. They came on at around 7:45pm. The first set was 54 minutes. The second set (including an encore) was a little over an hour, making for nearly two hours on stage. Very generous, and thoroughly appreciated by the audience. They performed a total 21 songs, including two requests and two numbers in the encore (no, I didn’t count while they were singing, Lois snagged the set lists). 😉
OK, now more back story…
When possible, we like to support the venue. In this case, the venue made it clear (which we love) that they served dessert and coffee, but they encouraged people to support the town and have dinner locally before the show. We wanted to do that, as well as arrive early enough to not worry about finding the place, or have any crazy Thruway traffic problems.
While we knew the doors didn’t open until 6:45pm, we timed it to get to the Cafe at 4pm. Our intention was to wander around the town, have an early-ish dinner, then be at the Cafe in time for the doors opening, so we could get front-row seats.
We pulled up to the address that our GPS guided us to at exactly 4pm. It was a Youth Center, with no signs (that we could see) mentioning Golding Park Cafe. Lois got out to ask where the real Cafe was. I didn’t have a view of Lois, but Laura (who was in the back seat) told me that a van door opened up and Lois seemed to be chatting with someone inside the van. At that moment, a very nice gentlemen wandered over to the car to tell me where we might eat in town.
It turns out that the van was the infamous Girlyman road van, and Lois got to say a quick hi to them before they set up for the show. The lovely gentleman who helped me out turned out to be our host for the evening (Brian Kaiser), current Treasurer of the Cobleskill Partnership, Inc. When Lois got back to the car, she told me who was in the van, and I went to say a very quick hello to Girlyman as well, then we headed out.
Don’t ever understimate what we’re missing by not having a Walmart Supercenter in Manhattan, we don’t. So, before worrying about dinner, we doubled back to spend some quality time at the Cobleskill Walmart. All four of us got at least one thing, and Lois and I got a lot more than that. 😉
We then made a quick (and successful) stop at the Ace Hardware for Laura and Chris to pick up some fasteners (or brackets, I’m not really sure) for their bookshelves.
Finally, we settled on a local Italian Restaurant (and Pizza shop). It was crowded, so clearly a local favorite. We enjoyed it too. We then walked around a bit, and got back to the Cafe parking lot at around 6:15pm. Here’s proof that we walked around the town:
We went inside at 6:50pm, and there were five people sitting in the front row already (it can accommodate perhaps 12). However, when I paid for our tickets (we had reservations), we were ushered to table 17. There is no bad seat at Golding Park Cafe, and table 17 certainly would have been fine. But, after driving three hours to get there, and waiting another three hours to be seated, coupled with the fact that Lois is essentially legally blind, we really were hoping for the front row.
Our request wasn’t handled as smoothly as one could hope, but in the end, they did the right thing, and we were seated exactly where we had hoped to be. Whew. 🙂
Above, I mentioned that there were already five people seated in the front row. It turns out that they are huge Girlyman fans (as were a number of people in the crowd, including a family who drove down from Rochester, NY to see the show!). Girlyman thanked the Rochester folks for coming the furthest distance. While they drove 30 minutes longer than we did, our guests had an extra 45-minute train ride to get to our car, so technically, they came the furthest. 😉
The other fans that sat in the front row are also bloggers. This morning, Lois got a Google Alert pointing to their blog about last night’s show. If you click through (and you should, because they also have a very cute YouTube video of three of them doing Girlyman’s Everything’s Easy!), you will note that Lois was the one who took the photo of all of them together at the show. 🙂
Even though we were all pretty stuffed from dinner, we ordered coffee and dessert (an excellent Pumpkin Pie for three of us) in order to support the Cafe. I insanely overtipped our waitress. I italicized waitress, because the argument amogst our group was whether she was over or under 12-years-old. When we saw her out of uniform at the end of the show, we all seemed to agree that under 12 was more likely accurate. This is, after all, a Youth Center… 🙂
At 7:45pm, Brian Kaiser came on stage to introduce Girlyman. In my life, I have never heard such a heartfelt and gushing-praise introduction for an artist. Of course, Lois and I not only agreed with every word he said, but would have said the same thing if we were the ones introducing Girlyman! Nate noted that they would never be able to live up to that intro. Of course, he was wrong. 😉
Every Girlyman show we’ve been to has had extremely enthusiastic audiences. Last night was significantly more special. In fact, the applause were so long, so hearty, and nearly overwhelming (after every song!), that Nate coined the term: Extended Applause (aptly so!). Later on, when that continued to be the norm, he joked about Inspector Gadget, and renamed the extended applause to Go go extended applause (if you’ve never seen Inspector Gadget, never mind…). 😉
After the show, Lois said a quick goodbye to the band, and hopefully successfully signed up to be notified if the live CD becomes available. The rest of us didn’t want to get trapped by the crowd that was gathering to buy CDs, T-Shirts, and meet Girlyman, so we didn’t get to say goodbye. We hit the road, and arrived home a little before 1am. Thankfully, we gained an hour on the clock last night (good timing Congress!).
Of course, we’re not satisfied, so we’re doing it again on Wednesday evening, bringing two new (soon-to-be) Girlyman fans with us. 🙂