I went and saw Greg Laswell last night at DC9. I love this venue.
I metroed in to avoid parking calamities because the cars are covered in snow and driving and parking is ridiculous and dangerous right now.
I arrived at DC9 at 5 and sat at a table near the window. It is a dark little bar right off U Street. (Just 3 blocks from Ben's Chili Bowl and the 9:30 Club.) The bouncer was very nice and there was an air of artistic generosity in the place. As I sat at the table waiting for Lindsy to arrive, I saw Greg Laswell himself through the window. I smiled at him in recognition, but didn't wave or do anything to draw attention to him. He walked in and headed upstairs to a private area to chill out before the show.
When Lindsy arrived we both freaked out a little at having just seen Greg--her outside and me inside.
Then we ate delicious juicy hamburgers.
The opening act left me wanting. His melodies were too complicated to be real melodies--and although he kept retuning his guitar--his voice was off pitch. Perhaps he had a cold. I'm not sure. There's nothing quite like a catchy tune--and there was nothing catchy about his tunes. And his lyrics were contrived and cliche. His songs were the product of too much effort and not enough instinct.
I could have forgiven him, I might have forgiven him, but then Greg Laswell came out on the stage.
He opened with "What A Day."
I stood 3 feet from him--front row. The moment he began to finesse the keyboard--the haunting, simple melody of a real song just overwhelmed me and I audibly gasped at how beautiful music can be when it comes together so effortlessly. Just listen to the the part of the song. And then the lyrics. His music is so simple and yet so perfect.
The whole concert was a joy. He told great jokes and just enjoyed the crowd. And we enjoyed him. It was a delight. I avoided snapping too many pictures because I was too close to him. I didn't want to take from the moment. So I just enjoyed.
Here's some of his music to enjoy--as found on youtube.