Sunday, November 16, 2014

Anne McCue at The Hotel Café, 11-15-14 Concert Review

Anne McCue performing "Dig Two Graves"
I finally got the chance to see Anne McCue perform last night at The Hotel Café in Los Angeles, and it was one of the best sets of music I’ve seen this year. It got me even more excited about her upcoming release, as the new music she played last night is among the best I’ve heard from her.

Of course, it didn't hurt that she had an awesome band backing her – Carl Byron on keyboard and piano, Dusty Wakeman on stand-up bass and electric bass, and David Raven on drums. They kicked off the set with “Driving Down Alvarado,” which featured a good jam with some impressive work on guitar by Anne and the intriguing line “Take me down, down to the place where the monsters play.” Anne followed it with “Motorcycle Dream” from Broken Promise Land, with Carl Byron switching from keyboard to piano. As usual, the Los Angeles crowd was a bit loud, and half the audience was shushing the other half. Good thing it was all behind me, as I got there early and got a seat up front.

Dusty Wakeman then switched to the stand-up bass for the next song, “Uncanny Moon,” which had a kind of sexy, jazzy vibe which I completely enjoyed. A good portion of the set focused on Anne's upcoming release. About her new album, Anne joked, “It’s been forty-five years in the making, and I’m only forty-four.” She then played “Dig Two Graves,” a fantastic song about revenge. It was the first tune of the night on which she played acoustic guitar, and was probably my favorite song of the show. It featured some really nice stuff by David Raven on drums.

Anne followed that with another new song, “Things You Left Out In The Rain,” the first single from the new album, and then “Spring Cleaning In The Wintertime,” which featured some nice play between guitar and piano during a brief instrumental section. She introduced “Little White Cat” by saying it’s the “first song I ever wrote with audience participation.” For this song, she switched back to electric guitar. And yes, the Los Angeles audience did participate.

Anne ended her set with a great bluesy rock number, “As The Crow Flies,” written by Tony Joe White. And holy shit, can this woman play guitar! She closed out her set with some seriously impressive playing which left me wishing this band could do another set.

Set List
  1. Driving Down Alvarado
  2. Motorcycle Dream
  3. Uncanny Moon
  4. Dig Two Graves
  5. Things You Left Out In The Rain
  6. Spring Cleaning In The Wintertime
  7. Little White Cat
  8. As The Crow Flies

There was no encore, as the sets are pretty rigidly timed at this venue.

Here are a few photos from the show:

"Driving Down Alvarado"
"Driving Down Alvarado"
"Motorcycle Dream"
"Things You Left Out In The Rain"
"Little White Cat"
"As The Crow Flies"

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