This was the first official show at SeaLevel
Records, which is owned by a buddy of mine. Plenty of people
shelled out the $6 to see a legend of the indie rock world play,
and they were well rewarded. I spent a nice evening hanging
out and watching the performance.
SeaLevel Records is a cozy place with large multi-colored walls,
and the crazy brightness of the place provided a pleasant DIY
feel to the show. As such, it was hard not to think back to
the beginnings of Beat Happening in Olympia, WA, where they
played in record stores and in back alleys.... I've seen several
in-stores here and the sound is always great. I'd equate the
design of the space to that of a funnel. The sound is spread
out acoustically, making every spot a good one.
Little Wing went on first, and the majority of their performance
was without the help of microphones. They walked throughout
the store while playing on several occasions. The intimacy of
the store was apparent as they talked to the audience throughout
the show and played their beautiful and simple music to everyone.
They also had the chance to explain their songs a bit and take
requests for songs.
Calvin Johnson played by himself and with part of Little Wing
backing him. His booming voice and acoustic guitar contrasted
as well as they have over the last 20 years as he played songs
from his solo records. He fielded questions from the crowd including
a hilarious diatribe concerning the pending baseball strike
and the current state of music and popular culture. The music
was at times touching but still tongue-in-cheek and the show
was overall very enjoyable.