Monday, August 3, 2009

Floored by Four & M. Ward @ Central Park: 8/1/09

When I showed up to this show, I expected to see Nels Cline as it was billed. Surprised was I to find that Cline was actually part of a band that call themselves "Floored by Four" that consists of iconic bassist Mike Watt and two people who I didn't know, Yuka Honda and Dougie Bowne (apologies to Yuka Honda and Dougie Bowne!). Their opening performance was...interesting to say the least. It was potentially the most self-indulgent performance I've ever heard, but I say that in a non-judgmental way because it was enthralling to see a band that so obviously just wanted to jam. There were 10 minute long solos, moments when you couldn't hear the band playing, moments when you couldn't hear yourself think, and everything in between. By the end however, the performance was tending to get a little tedious, as evidenced by a large portion of the audience sitting down and more than a few people reading and conversing. I would say that they are extremely talented and I await hearing their album whenever it comes out, because it's a little scary to think what they might be capable of after getting a little more comfortable with each other. Overall, I think this a band that should be headlining shows rather than opening them, so they can perhaps attract an audience more suited to them.

Photo Credit: Hippies Are Dead

After about 30 minutes of intermission between acts, M. Ward came onstage right as it was getting dark outside and put on one of the most solid sets I've yet seen. The only slight complaint I may have had with the performance is just how comfortable M. Ward and his band looked up there. M. Ward has claimed that he's not a big fan of doing live shows in the past, and it kind of looks that way when he's performing. It's a small qualm, because the performance was technically exceptional, and the diehard M. Ward fans seemed very pleased with the set. But there definitely is an element of seeing an artist really engaged in his/her performance that was missing. Overall, an extremely solid performance, and I would recommend him to anyone if he's coming near you. Also, there are no original pictures that accompany this post, because M. Ward is a stickler for no cameras, and I respect that. (aka I snuck a couple of pictures that were too low quality to post)

Photo Credit: Hippies Are Dead
M. Ward Setlist

Sad Song
One Hundred Million Years

Post War

Chinese Translation

Rave On

Never Had Nobody Like You

Hold Time

To Save Me

Poor Boy, Minor Key
Poison Cup

Fool Says

Magic Trick

Big Boat

Bean Vine Blues (John Fahey Cover)

Fisher Of Men


Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry Cover)

Encore #1

Encore #2
To Go Home


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