Went to see David Rawlings last Saturday in beautiful Saxapahaw NC. It’s the same group of people that used to be called the “David Rawlings Machine”, but now it’s just “An Evening With David Rawlings.” MmmK.
Tenth time seeing them (either lead by Gillian Welch or by David Rawlings). This pushes them ahead of Robyn Hitchcock.
It was a sold out show, so it was packed and hot and stuffy. And it’s a club, so you gotta stand. And the other three people who were supposed to come with me (and whose idea it was to go in the first place) all bailed at the last minute. So, I wasn’t like totally stoked to be there. But, I went, dammit!
He has a new album out, as “David Rawlings” (no more “Machine” there either), which is good because I’ve been watching him play what seems like the same set for years. But, unfortunately, I just don’t care much for this new record.
So, I got there early, got a decent place to stand. And as soon as they started, the guy in front of me started making me miserable by getting three inches taller, creeping backwards, leaning backwards, very slowing rocking side-to-side. He had three feet in front of him, where the rest of his party was standing, but he needed my space, too.
So, shitty mood firmly established…
They played a bunch of my least-favorite tunes from the new record. Then they played a couple of tunes I like but which I’ve heard him play a hundred times before. Then Gillian Welch got to do a song, “Back In Time”, which she did last time I saw The David Rawlings show. Then Willie Watson got to do a song; but before he started he said (paraphrasing) “I was thinking maybe I would do a different song this time. You know Gillian always ends up singing ‘Back In Time’, and I always do this one. Maybe we should switch it up for a change? But it was decided that we should just stick with what works.”
And then he did the song he does at every David Rawlings show. It’s a good, fun song, but I didn’t need to hear it again. And he obviously didn’t want to sing it again. At that point I realized I that was bored. I’ve seen them on that same stage several times before and have been just awestruck and mesmerized. But this time, I was just bored. So I stood for one more song before they took their intermission and then I left.
They just announced a Gillian Welch show around here in April. I rolled my eyes.