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Old 01-23-2009, 01:44 AM   #5
Eskimo Regular
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 178

Here’s my review of the first show in Mexico City, I tried to be as detailed as possible

Ok, so we got there like an hour before the show, and the place was already pretty crowded. About fifteen minutes later we actually spotted Damien by the drinks!! Nobody seemed to notice him though, and only a couple people actually approached him. He was only there for a short while and then went back “behind the scenes”.

The venue was very intimate, and the setup was basically a bunch of numbered tables for four people each. You could order drinks or food if you wanted to before the show. And it was announced that there’d actually be 15-20 minute break mid-concert so people could get more drinks, rather than having the waiters interrupting during the set.

At 10 sharp, Damien opened his guitar-only set with “The Professor” and went on to sing “Delicate” and “Elephant”, without speaking to the audience in between the songs. But right after “Coconut Skins” he chatted for the first time. He said he hoped we understood English and that he’d try to speak slowly so we could keep up, and then proceeded to tell the Amie story about the shooting star, throwing a few words in Spanish here and there (it was funny hearing him attempt to speak the language). The public really responded to the it, laughing at all the right places, and being welcoming towards him in general (many screamed “welcome!”, “thanks for coming!”, and lots of flattering comments), and it was my impression that he maybe didn’t expect such warmth, he seemed happy and giggly from then on.

Following “Amie” and “Older Chests”, he said he’d been asked by the venue to have a break to give “the alcoholics in the room an opportunity to get a drink”, and that he’d return after his next song for the “drunk part of the set”. He did “Cannonball” without mic and left.

After the break came “Woman Like A Man”, “Eskimo”, “The Animals Were Gone”, “I Remember”, “9 Crimes”, and “Grey Room”, all without interruptions. Then he introduced “Cold Water” as “Aqua Freda”, which he then corrected to “Agua Fría”, the correct translation of “Cold Water” into Spanish. Surprisingly, he asked the lights to be turned off “completamente” (completely), and he did this and “Hallelujah” in complete darkness, making for a pretty special atmosphere.

Just when it seemed he’d play “Sand”, he seemed to quickly change his mind (or maybe he got confused and started the wrong song?) and started telling the story about writing “Childish” because of his close relationship with other singer/songwriters, jokingly adding that he was absolutely nothing like what is described in the song. Then came “a depressing song”: “Accidental Babies”, followed by the biggest (and best) surprise of the night (for me) “Then Go”. I was really hoping he did either that one, “Insane”, or “Sand”, and was pleasantly surprised when I heard the first notes.

Lots of laughter came when someone in the audience started yelling “sabroso” as a compliment to Damien. For a moment he thought they’d yelled “You’re an asshole”, and he was kind of confused when everybody tried to explain to him that the comment actually meant “tasty”. He said “Taste me? F*ck (still a bit confused)” lol.
He finally had one person on the front row tell him it meant “tasty”, to which he reacted by smelling his armpit and saying “maybe earlier, but not now”. Toying with his guitar, he didn’t know what to play next, considering he hadn’t had a gig in a long time, and didn’t remember which songs he had (he mentioned that). Someone suggested “Rootless Tree”, and he liked the idea, saying that he usually plays it in the piano, but that he’d try to play it on the guitar as if it was the piano version.

As an intro for “Rootless Tree”, he told a story about him thinking that he could step on people in the same way that one can just step on plants on a field. After a while, the plants come back up, and he thought it was the same with people, but that he later realized that if you step on plants too much you draw a pathway, and in the case of the song, it was about creating a pathway on a person.

“I’ve had a really interesting and sweet night, so hopefully I will see you again sometime”, Damien said before telling the “Volcano” story in which he recommends that if you’re sexually attracted to either “a woman, a man…or a dog” you should go to the bathroom and “relieve yourself”. And if you still want to kiss her (him or it lol), then it’s genuine. The sing-a-long was one of the most fun things. I’m sure you’ve all read about it since it has been done before, but he basically divided us into four. Some had to sing “Volcanoes melt you down”, others had to do the “What I am to you, is not real / What I am to you, you do not need” bit, the people in the middle did the “no no no no no”, and the section that was confined in the corner, to the right of the stage, had to scream a high-pitched “aaaaa”. The first time they tried the “aaaa” it was hilarious because it sounded terrible, so Damien said that any girl (since it needed to sound acute) whose name started with the letters A, B, C, D, or E should help out. He gave examples of names for each letter: Alejandra, Charlize, Daniela amongst them, but it was particularly amusing when he said “Beronica” and “Elephanto”, since the first name is spelled “Veronica”, and the second is not even a name.

He left the stage afterwards, a bit past midnight at this point, but the crowd went mad for an encore, and he came back for two performances: “The Blower’s Daughter”, and “Cheers Darlin’”. Right when “Blower’s Daughter” was about to end, I suddenly heard some gasps, and when I turned to my right I saw a bunch of security people all over a table. Apparently there was a little fight, and I overheard someone say that it had been caused because a guy grabbed another’s head and pushed it down since he had been blocking his view. And I missed this, but someone who was with me told me that Damien said, paraphrasing, something like “A fight at a Damien Rice concert? Who would have thought?”.

People used the distraction to get closer to the stage and shake Damien’s hand. I had to leave before “Cheers Darlin’” was over but I am guessing he did the drunk song thing.

And so it went, a memorable night.
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