Monday, May 22, 2017

Concert Review - Michale Graves returns with the perfect acoustic set at Firehouse 13

- Providence, RI - April 28th, 2017 @ Firehouse 13

So it's a Friday Night, my wife was working late and Michale Graves was coming to town. I waited like a kid on christmas for my wife to walk in from work to quickly do a recap of the night and head out on the approximately 25 to 28 minute drive thanks to construction and possible accidents.
Running around frantically trying to find an ATM which to my dismay was out of order at the local cumbys and finding out that my gas gauge was on empty really didn't sit well with me. Fortunately I hit the road with jus the right amount of time to get to the club by 11 which was when I was expecting Michale to be hitting the stage. 

Pulling up the street of the venue I saw a few parking spots but of course I kept driving in hopes a spot closer to the door would pop up. Nope. So back down the street I head, park, take a look around to make sure I wasn't missing a "no parking" sign and headed to the club. Once again, I was the old dude dressed out of style for this punk rock show.(last two shows I dressed in casual wear, this time would be no different) I've come to terms it's not as important to me to dress up for a show so I just go with whatever a middle aged guy finds comfortable after 10pm. In this case as I passed leather clad dudes and heavily made up ladies with piercings and spiked hair dos, I realized I was the only person wearing basketball shorts and a pro wrestling t-shirt. I ran into my pal Luis at the door, who is a laugh riot and always at the Michale Graves shows screaming play "SKULLS"! Considering that I've only been to Firehouse 13 for Michale Graves shows it was a bit of deja vu experience as I stepped inside and found my pal John DeAngelis who was also at the previous two Graves concerts. As the last opener finished out their set, John and I speculated if the show would be with a full band or acoustic as Michale took to the stage with an acoustic guitar. Fortunately, since I missed Michale's last acoustic set in Providence two years previous, I was in for a treat.

John and I approached the stage where we'd stand a mere 4 feet away from Michale the entire set. It's the great thing about the Firehouse 13 venue. No guard rails or security to move you back from the stage. It's an up close and personal feel. The audience was a real mix of the stereotypical punks with leather jackets/patches/hair/eyeliner and the normies like myself just there for the music. The set was a mix of new songs off his latest Acoustic album, Backroads, some Misfits gems and a great set of songs inspired by his life outside of music. Michale really opened up and told some stories about being an EMT worker or the time he worked in the statehouse in Arkansas as my pal Luis conversed with him in between songs. At one point a young dude dressed in a leather jacket reached out his hand to Michale and told him he had to leave. Michale told the crowd that he had a great conversation with the young man before his set and offered the young man his social contacts to continue the conversation further down the road. Seriously how amazing is that.

There were many highlights of the set but the moment that stood out to me the most was when Michale played "Dying on a Sunday morning". The audience at points in the show were lost in conversation. With that annoying murmur often contending with my ability to focus it was nice to hear a quiet calm. It was a song I really looked forward to hearing him play and it was awesome to hear it back to back with one of my favorite tunes "crying on a saturday night". 

Michale's tales of a past stint working in Arkansas for a tv station and hearing him play a really stripped down version of "Lucifer I am" inspired by the West Memphis Three was yet another unexpected highlight of the show. Michale was contemplative throughout the set and talked about the stripped down leg of this tour traveling to towns by truck. He also spoke of the Misfits and how appreciative he was of that era of his life while explaining certain decisions he made along the way could've been a lot different. 

The show will live on as one of my favorite concert going experiences in a small intimate setting. It's definitely up there with the Corey Taylor show I attended years back at the Met. For the third time in a row, Michale Graves gave the fans an incredible live experience at the Firehouse 13. After the set, I got to personally thank Michale for the amazing night and told him how much it meant to me as the week leading up to the performance I had been coping with a personal family crisis. He told me to write him and if he could do anything for me via communicating or networking that he would. I'll always appreciate how giving he is to fans and how he gives each person his undivided attention. I truly look forward to him returning in the late summer/early fall schedule. Until then check out his latest cd, Backroads, available now.

No comments:

Post a Comment