Sunday, October 5th, 2003
Across The Wire
There were some concerns early on that maybe Calexico had overestimated their draw by booking two nights at a venue the size of Lee’s Palace on their cross-Canada tour. On this, the second night, the crowd was still mighty sparse when openers The Frames took the stage just after their scheduled 7:45 start time (the early show may have had something to do with the size of the crowd as well). Instead of being discouraged, they dove right in and proceeded to charm the slowly-growing crowd with their anthemic folk-rock in their uniquely Irish way and by set’s end they had the audience calling for an encore. Because of time restrictions it was not to be, but they made it up to their fans later on.
Calexico are touring across Canada at just the right time, coming to inject a little dose of southwestern heat into a too-frigid October. Travelling as a six-piece and outfitted with an enormous array of instruments, Calexico alternated from hand-clapping, hip-shaking mariachi numbers to spacious soundscapes evoking the Arizona desert they call home. Local boy Dallas Good joined them onstage for a couple numbers and some of The Frames guested on the encore finale – a rousing cover of The Pogues’ “Fiesta”. Frames frontman Glen Hansard did his best to channel Shane MacGowan’s drunken spirit, and while he was a little too intelligable, it was a good try.
Oh yeah, there was no need to worry about the attendance over two nights – the Saturday night, at least, ended up being packed anyway. And complaints? $25 CDs. Hello, what the fuck is that?
I’m not too thrilled with how my photos turned out. I had a terrific vantage point from a table at the front of the mezzanine at stage left, and thought I’d try going flash-less for this show. I was close enough and the Calexico lightshow was bright enough that I seemed to be able to get some good atmospheric shots, at least from the camera preview. And while there technically was enough light to get the effect I wanted, I’m not steady of hand enough to keep things from getting too blurry. I’ve got 20 shots up – I took a helluva lot more that just weren’t usable. Still, practice makes perfect.
np – Gram Parsons / GP/Grievous Angel