Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach (San Diego)

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Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach (San Diego)

Postby IBeacher » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:36 am

Great show in San Diego last night! I won't even attempt to duplicate the great Mountain Winery reviews by Karen and Kevin. I even wrote down the setlist from the last few shows so I could just check off songs and only have to add any changes.

The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach is about 15 miles north of downtown San Diego and mere blocks from the beach. The venue itself is fairly nondescript. It is indoors, doesn't sit on top of a mountain. has no view and basically looks like your typical bar. The stage sits a few feet above the ground and there are no seats except to the sides and off to the back corner. All tickets are general admission. When the doors open you pick a spot. What it does have is an incredible ability to focus on the performer. There are a few spotlights pointing to the stage and when the lights go out and the show starts, all eyes point to the microphone that looks like it sits in the middle of the standing crowd. There is a reason Patty said she was excited when she saw the Belly Up listed as one of her tour stops. I think she remembered how she was able to connect and be a part of the audience the last time she performed there.

Opening the show was a singer named Langhorne Slim. The best part of his show was when he announced he had just a few more songs left. The worst part of his show was that the few songs became 7 or 8.

Kevin (sfboy) would have loved this show. Because the majority of the sold out crowd stood the entire show there was plenty of time to move and dance. I've been to other shows where standing crowds tend to talk alot during the show. That wasn't the case last night and everyone was singing along and listening to everything Patty said. The acoustics were superb. The money was obviously not spent on decor but on sound quality.

The setlist was pretty much the same as the last few shows. I'll list the songs and just add a few comments.

Hang on St. Christopher

Love Throw a Line

Chief ( I worried that her voice sounded hoarse in a few places after 3 shows in 3 nights. The only song I heard a crack in the entire night)

Change (great great version)

(Solo Set)
Time Turns Us Down (beautiful!)

Little God - she introduced this song by talking about some unreleased albums of hers that some of us may have heard of. She started singing a few lines from a song she started to write called "They ain't never coming out" I guess referring to whether they would ever be released officially.

Waiting for My Child to Come Home (Loved this song as did the crowd)

Then the band rejoined her in a great rendition of Lefty Frizzell's
I Want to Be With You Always (I'm almost positive this was the song. I wrote down Lefty Frizzell but was so in to the song I didn't write the title). I kept thinking this would make a great duet. I know she sang this with Buddy Miller on the 3 girls and their Buddy tour. I even fantasized it was me singing it with her but reality stepped in and I remembered that I can't sing. :lol:

Go Now

Truth #2 - brought the house down!

Tony (as moving as on A Kiss in Time)

Mil Besos

Be Careful

Stay on the Ride (another crowd favorite. I never tire of this song)

No Bad News (No intro. It rocked!)

Lonely Avenue (Ray Charles) She started singing this playfully with the band and couldn't seem to get the lyrics right. She looked at Stefano and seemed to pout and say "I don't think we're gonna get to do this" but regrouped and blew it out of the park. Great Encore choice!

Up to the Mountain - so poignant especially because of the anniversary.

She came out again and sang her new song a capella (You'll be on your way?) Such a wrenching song lyrically.

She really fed on the crowd all night. It did seem like the perfect crowd for the venue and I can see why she was glad to be back. I took my cousin who had never seen Patty live before. Her only regret was that she couldn't see Patty's shoes. She thought Patty was cute as ever!

A couple of comments Patty made:

"Last year I toured for a new album. This year I'm touring for fun". (It showed)

Some guy yelled out from the crowd "Let's go to the beach tomorrow" Patty's reply - "Duuuude" - She said that was the only surfer word she knew!

Great show as always. On the way out some girl in front of us said she was disappointed that she played so few songs from Children Running Through (but she still loved the show). I can understand but when so many artists repeat the same setlist for years and years, it's nice to see someone dig in their vault and put on a show that displays their incredible versatility.
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Postby sfboy » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:28 pm

Terry--Wow! It sounds great. I would have loved to just follow Patty down the Coast, but reading your review was the next best thing. How great that she did Time Turns Us Down. I really hope that makes the next CD, whenever that is.

Are you going to San Diego too? You lucky dog! (Come back up to SF for Hardly Strictly and you can call it a hat trick!)

Thanks again for the great review.

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Postby jessebearauntie » Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:16 pm

Hi Terry:

Thanks for adding another great review to Patty's 2008 summer tour! What a great way to experience a Patty concert (small club setting with dancing!). After reading the reviews from the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, Belly Up Aspen, Mountain Winery, and Belly Up Solana Beach shows, I feel like I've been to 4 Patty shows - not just one - this summer! This has been fantastic! And there are more shows (with our fellow Pattynetters planning to attend) coming . . .yeah!

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Postby IBeacher » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:35 am

Found this review of the show...

Patty Griffin
Belly Up Tavern
Solana Beach, California
August 28, 2008

At some point, every dedicated fan should have the opportunity to watch their favorite artist(s) no matter how big or famous perform from five feet away. Particularly in a small, intimate venue that captures every stray guitar lick and nuance in the voice. There ¡s nothing quite like it. I had that opportunity Thursday night as I dragged an unsuspecting friend (and new fan) to see the luminous and beautiful Patty Griffin perform at a sold-out Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California. Before a couple hundred adoring fans, she put on a show I will not soon forget.

On the way to the show my friend asked me "What kind of music does Patty sing?" My first response was "Well, she's labeled Americana". Blank stare. But really, how does one define Patty's style? I read this definition of Americana or roots music online the other day. It applies perfectly to Patty and I couldn't have summed it up better: American Roots music isn't country, pop or rock, though it's not ashamed to borrow from those styles. It's not bluegrass, gospel, folk or Cajun, though there are elements. To its practitioners, it's the authentic heart of the heartland, songs that could only come from here, sounds that remind us who we are. Soul music, if you will.

Like many others, I was introduced to Patty the songwriter before I was introduced to Patty the singer and performer. Patty has had the blessing or curse (depending on how you view it) of having been famously covered by a number of big names - Dixie Chicks (Top of the World, Truth No. 2, Let Him Fly, Mary), Miranda Lambert (Getting Ready), Martina McBride (Goodbye), The Wreckers (One More Girl) and Emmylou Harris (One Big Love, Moon Song), among others.

In recent years, however, Patty has emerged from the shadows, so to speak, to stand on her own as a vibrant singer and performer, and one of the most respected songwriters in modern music. In 2007, Patty was the Americana Music Association's Artist of the Year and her latest gem, Children Running Through, captured Album of the Year. Everyone's favorite collaborator, she frequently performs with Willie Nelson, and she went on tour earlier this year with Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller.

On this particular night, however, she stood alone; and really, despite her excellent 3-piece backing band, Patty was all we needed.

When Patty walks on stage, she appears so ethereal and delicate you almost hold your breath until the first lyric falls from her mouth. Can she really belt out a tune with the same soulful passion as she does on her albums? Oh yes, she can. Her first note was like a punch in the gut. And from there on, Patty held the audience in the palm of her hand, performing a wide range of songs that could be defined as nothing other than soul music.

In addition to some of her own classic tunes, including Truth No. 2, Be Careful (a new favorite), Chief, Up to the Mountain (MLK Song) and No Bad News, Patty performed a couple of newly-penned songs, a song off her never-released album Silver Bell (Little God) and a few gorgeous covers. Among her covers was a groovin' take on Tom Waits' Hang on St. Christopher, a soulful take on Ray Charles' Lonely Avenue and for old country fans, a Lefty Frizzell song.

Halfway through the evening, Patty's band went backstage and she stayed out alone. Patty has said that she needs this time alone on stage each night, as it's how she started, and it gives her the absolute freedom to do whatever she wants. Among the songs she sang was the gorgeous Waiting for My Child, a song that Patty recently recorded with Mavis Staples and will be released on an upcoming album. Patty compared meeting Mavis Staples, a soul and gospel legend and civil rights activist, to meeting the Dalai Lama. Her rendition undoubtedly would have made her idol proud.

One of the highlights of the evening, and part of the magic of Patty Griffin, was hearing Patty describe the inspiration for some of her songs and then listening to her perform the songs themselves. With most artists, there is a literal connection. With Patty, there is a spiritual one. There is no other way to explain how she can take a song she described as being about a creepy and nasty little man she used to work with and turn it into an utterly haunting song like Little God.

Another highlight was watching Patty seamlessly move from rock, blues, folk and soul into Mil Besos, an old Latin standard she recorded on her 1000 Kisses album. I don't know how well this plays in the American heartland, but in Southern California it was utterly perfect, and just proved my theory that great music transcends language, gender, race and genre.

Patty capped the evening with Up to the Mountain (MLK Song). This is how she has been ending all of her recent concerts, but somehow, on this night, it was all the more poignant. For just prior to the concert I had sat in my living room and watched the first African American accept his party's nomination for President of the United States while invoking the hopeful words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Few artists know how to capture as much emotion with a simple lyric as Patty, and this song is a loving tribute to Dr. King and all those who came before. More than one person had tears in their eyes before it was over. Truly, just more of the magic of Patty Griffin.
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Postby marybeth » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:36 am

Wow, great article/review. An informed reviewer! Great.


Some people don't care if they live or they die
Some people want to know what it feels like to fly

Americana: "a nebulous category of misfits and acquired tastes, many of whom seem to have worn cowboy hats at one time or another" LA Times article
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Postby RedEarth » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:10 pm

Sounds like a great way to see Patty.

So glad to see that she's playing Change so much lately!

I don't know but I'm set to find out, I don't know but I'm a gonna find out
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