Last night I went with my sister The Wild Thing to see Ian Moore at the Granada Theater. She has been a fan of Ian Moore forever, and even though I was mostly familiar with his work from the late 80's/early 90's, I know he's got a huge following and I was very interested to check him out as well. It didn't hurt that DirecTV was showing an Ian Moore concert on their 101 channel, so I got to "pre-view" the coming attraction.
I have to admit, being the Rockin' Chick that I am, I didn't really know how I felt about the smoother, folkier, I-don't-know-how-to-describe-it that typifies Ian Moore these days, based on the concert I saw on TV. Vastly different from anything else that's happening in music today, you can't categorize it, so don't even try. Watching on TV, I was almost pre-disappointed, because I was hoping to hear some heavier, bluesier rockier stuff. But it's still fun to hang out with The Wild Thing, so, onward and upward.
Then I was sort of more disappointed to find out there was an opening act. A band called Sorta. Who calls their band Sorta? It seems like if you're confident enough to have a band, it might should be called Definitely. Or Absolutely. Sorta? Well, OK...stay open, Mind.
OMG. Strange name aside, I've never heard ANYTHING like Sorta. Not even sorta like Sorta. (OK, OK, bad joke.) I really wish I could tell you what they sounded like, and how they made me feel, but I'm sure the written word will be a feeble attempt at expressing that. I'll try anyway.
First, I was fascinated by the instrumentation of the band. It's a five-piece: keyboards, lead guitar, rhythm guitar/lead singer, bass guitar, and upright steel guitar. Yes, I was somewhat concerned that this would be a twangy country outfit when I saw that, but it was nothing of the kind. The band members themselves were unassuming and totally into what they were delivering. No chatter, no bravado, just "INTO" it!
Here's where descriptions get blurry. I may be out of touch - but I have never heard anything like this before. It's kind of like the "Texana" music they play on Texas Rebel Radio in Central Texas, but not quite. I guess you could call it "Austin Music" but this band is local to Dallas. What I am absolutely 100% sure of is that I loved it. LOVED it! There were a couple of times when I was literally taken away by the music. Almost other-worldly. I wish, wish, wish so bad that I could describe the way it sounded and the way it felt, but whatever I've written, I've had to wipe out because it just doesn't capture it. So...here's the deal, OK? Go see Sorta live! Go! Then come back here and describe it to me. Check their myspace site out at www.myspace.com/sorta.
So I've spent a heck of a lot of words and haven't gotten to the Ian Moore set yet. Well, evidently he has a new CD just released, and he played quite a bit from it. One charming commentary Ian made to the crowd was that he was trying to figure out how to press it onto vinyl. As in a real album. That lead up to a song he said was track one on side two. Nostalgia! Remember when albums were put together that way. Remember albums? I have a lot of appreciation for the song-by-song format of music that technology has led us to, but I remember when so much thought went into putting a two-sided album together. It seems like the most crucial song of all was the first song on the second side.
Anyway, Ian Moore was amazing. I had already chucked my pre-disappointment out the door when Sorta opened the show, but when Ian played electric guitars as well as acoustic, I was fully engaged. And engrossed. Like I often do at the Granada, I went down to the front of the stage to watch closer, and his band is amazing. Sad that I haven't gone to the trouble of looking up or learning names, but his lead guitar player clearly has some chops. I think I heard them say that he fronts his own band in Austin - I can see why. Ian said that the new CD was all about the bass player, and that was plain to see as well. There is a keyboard player named Tyler, or maybe Taylor. ONe of the two- and the only reason I remember that at all is because at one point during a silence in the crowd someone yelled, "we love you, Tyler (or Taylor...) But one of the way-wicked-cool things about him was that he also played trumpet. That's right, trumpet. The songs with the horn reminded me of the Beatles. Actually, most everything reminded me of sort of the trippy songs of that era.
One of the coolest things that happened is that we met a couple from Stillwater, Oklahoma who was seated at our table at The Granada (one of the best music venues ever, if you ask me.) At one point, Ian announced from the stage that the next song was for his new friends from Stillwater. How cool is that!
My favorite song of the evening was (I later found out after I downloaded the new album from iTunes) "To Be Loved." Ian dedicated it to his dad. It started out slow, then had this upbeat, dancy, trippy part. See - again I just can't describe it. So, please do check it out. www.ianmoore.com is a great place to start. It's wonderful music, so different, so cool. :)