Last weekend I traveled to Philadelphia to go see Jimmy Gnecco perform with Greg Laswell at Tin Angel. When the dates got announced I thought it was a headlining tour and Philly was a Saturday night, so of course I was going to go. Then when I realized it was an opening spot and not a headlining one, I rethought it. Then I decided it was a Saturday night and since I'd never been to Philly, why not.
I had made dinner reservations at Serrano (the restaurant that Tin Angel is above) because we would be guaranteed reserved seating for the show. The food was very overpriced and just OK - Lisa's burger was very overcooked and the waiter looked at us weird when we tried to tell him that. So we got into line and headed upstairs and when we were shown to our table, we were about 8 tables back against the wall. We asked the waitress if we could move and she told us that it was assigned seating. We decided to just sit on the stools in the non-reserved seating and be done with it. Bottom line - if you get there early, you can get better seating then the 'reserved' seating. Not to mention, the room setup is very strange - its long and narrow, with a stage in front and a bar in back. They should move the stage to where the sound board is (in the middle of the room) and the setup would be much better. However, the acoustics in that room are amazing.
Anyway. I digress. The opener was a guy named Brian Wright, who plays in Greg Laswell's band. He was funny and his music was almost country-folkish, but good. I'm not a huge country music fan, but I enjoyed his short little set. Jimmy came onstage shortly thereafter, and opened with Rest Your Soul. That song absolutely hits close to home, as it was written about what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan and my brother is a Marine.
Darling made my cry for the first time ever - I usually get chills, but not tears, but something about it - maybe it was the way he sang it, the way the emotion evoked straight out of him, by the time he was done, I was wiping tears. Every single song Jimmy sang, within 10 seconds, I had chills. And it wasn't cold in the venue at all.
The set was way too short - only about 35 minutes or so - and left me wanting more. Everything he sang, with the exception of The Bells is on his much anticipated solo album The Heart, set to drop on July 20. Hearing Jimmy sing totally acoustic was just - beautiful. Every time I've seen him, he's either been with Static or the full band, so to experience the songs this way was something new. And the minute that Jimmy started singing, you could hear a pin drop in the room. Everyone was totally respectful, and I think he may have gained some new fans that night.
I stayed for all of Greg Laswell's set, and was fairly impressed. I do think that the venue was a little tiny for his full band - I liked what he did acoustically much better - it wasn't as loud. But it was good overall. After the show, I was hoping to talk to Jimmy, but he had already left, so I talked to April for a little while at the merch table - I've never really talked to her much before, but she's absolutely sweet and we had a great conversation. I finally headed back to the hotel around 2 and was happy. The trip overall was absolutely worth it and while I might not go back to that venue again, I'd definitely go back to Philadelphia.
My next show: Thursday, 5/27, Paradise in Boston. Also, much thanks to Lisa Gansky for letting me use her pictures. The lighting was very dark and my pictures are total crap.