Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion & Bloodshot Bill @ The Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC


Road Trip.  Back to Asheville, this time to see the great Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at the Grey Eagle.  A near 18 years since last saw them (at the Coogee Bay Hotel - I remember it was the night of Princess Diana's funeral).  It was a hard drive, as the pouring rain made it difficult to see anything, but I got to the Hampton Inn with barely enough time to put my stuff down and head over to the nearby Stone Ridge Tavern for a quick burger and a beer before heading into Asheville.

It was dark so I'm not sure where I am, but the Grey Eagle is a little west of downtown (apparently by the river).  Just a small venue I walked in and Bloodshot Bill was already onstage.  This guys was incredible.  For starters I never would have picked him as Canadian mainly because he sings like he should be from the backwaters of Alabama somewhere.  Armed with a guitar and a kick-drum this yodelling-country-blues-looneytunes-punk captivated the audience and put on a show deserving of a larger crowd.  Both gracious and funny with his banter, Bloodshot Bill's enthusiasam shone through in his music.  He got a great reaction for a call and response song near the end of his set and even played a song I knew (Crawdad - off one of my kids' music class CDs).  I will keep an eye out for anytime this guy comes close to Charlotte in the future.

I love being in the second row of a small venue and not feel crowded out.  That's where I stood, in front of Jon Spencer, and watched this New York trio tear Asheville apart.  Starting with 2 Kindsa Love, JSBX had there foot on the gas from the start and did not slow down for the next 80 minutes.  Their catalogue was so extensive that the first song was the only one I recognised,  but the energy and musicianship of this band had me (and the crowd) enthralled.  Spencer only used his theramin for one song.  I would've like to see more of that (very rarely do you see someone play this instrument)  They finished their set in a flurry but came back for a blistering 3 set encore.  How in tune are these 3 with each other.  There was not a setlist on the stage to be found afterwards.  I'd hate to think another 17 years would pass before the opportunity arose to see these guys again.

Jon Spencer @ The Grey Eagle

The Crap Facts:
This is my 386th concert.
This is my 1st concert at The Grey Eagle.
The Grey Eagle is the 106th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 2nd concert in Asheville.
This is my 34th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 193rd concert in the USA.
Bloodshot Bill the 456th band I've seen.
Bloodshot Bill is the 50th band I've seen in North Carolina.
This is the 3rd time I've seen Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.