Kensson at the Haufbrau’s open mic, Bozeman MT

June 24, 2007

It’s terribly pretentious to write a review of one’s own gig – almost as pretentious as referring to oneself as one. But since the gig was at the Haufbrau, a bar from which I have had occasion to turn away on account of the fistfight taking place in the doorway, I feel a modicum* of pretense probably gets me back to my normal level of poshness.

I was planning to play Enjoying the Ride, but my bike picked up a flat tyre on the way to the bar and I felt it would be quite inappropriate. Luckily I had asked Stefan Stern (keys) to sign me up in advance, or else I would still be waiting to get on stage. We had jammed together in the afternoon (otherwise probably neither of us would have gone) and thrashed out complementary parts to a couple of my songs – all of my songs are fairly simple, and he’s more than adept enough a musician to extemporise over three chords and some lies. His tunes are sophisticated, so I didn’t play on any of his.

In any case, he played first, rattled off half a dozen of his best numbers, battled continually with a pedal that wanted to be anywhere but on the stage and a microphone that wanted to be anywhere but in front of his mouth; his keyboard-playing is exemplary, and once he gains a bit of confidence about singing, he’ll be – if the German-speakers will forgive the pun – a star.

So, my set-list was something like this:

It’s the first time I’ve played a set – at least an amplified set – in close to a year. I was hardly rusty at all – a couple of slight screw-ups with difficult chord-changes and long-forgotten lyrics (I don’t think I’ve ever played When I’m Gone with the same verses in the same order more than once) but generally I felt like I sounded good and I rocked. A handful of people wanted to shake my hand on the way out, which always makes me feel like I’ve done something right. I’m looking forward to playing more with Stefan, I think a keyboard line added a dimension to Metamorphosis and made a pretty good song sound better still. As he said, it’s pretty simple, but with enough musical treats to make it interesting. I hope we’ll be able to record it soon.
* Yeah, I know.

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