Worlds & Time

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Marc Broussard

So, here's a story about what happened last night (I'm writing this tonight, the night of, but it won't be posted until tomorrow).

I'm listening to Marc Broussard's CD Carencro, which Scott and his wife gave me for giving him a ride home. I suppose I shouldn't listen to it right after a live concert, but I think I can handle it.

Ah, well, that's fast forwarding a little bit.

Lance Bass came out of the closet. Everyone and their mother added him as a friend on their Myspace page, and since the rumor mill had gotten around to me early, I already had him as a friend (along with 10,000 other people). I spent some time being a good consumer and checking out the links that he had on his page, and one of them was Marc Broussard.

Now, the first two times I looked at his website, I don't think I noticed anything unusual, except I thought it was an interesting choice of music for a bubblegum pop star like Lance Bass to include on his page. Then again, I remember that one of the 98 Degrees boys listed Sade, so I guess that the music listings are more personal than I sometimes give them credit for.

Then, randomly, about two weeks ago, I was clicking through, and I saw that Marc's website listed a gig at the Santa Fe Brewing Company. The Santa Fe Brewing Company offices are about two minutes from my house, and the restaurant is about five minutes away. It's in the building of my first summer job, which was Wolf Canyon Brewing Company back in the day.

I thought that I'd missed it, but I drove past it this morning, and the sign was up, and I was surprised to find out, yes, it was on a Monday night.

I debated whether or not to go, and finally decided to. I invited my mother, but she declined to come with me, so I go out alone.

They've changed it a lot from when it was Wolf Canyon. Wolf Canyon was a lot fancier than what Santa Fe Brewing Company is now. The tables used to be sheathed in copper, instead of plaid or sunflower patterns. The food didn't come on trays, and they used to use real glasses for everything, even sodas.

It's also a really poor venue for a show. They had the stage set up in a good place, but on the ground level there are about a dozen posts that block the view of the stage. I got a good seat though, on the left side of the stage, about twenty feet back.

Marc's website listed the start time of the gig as 7:30, so I decide to show up early, and got there at 7:00pm, only to find that they'd pushed it back to 8:00pm. So I had time to eat, which was good, because the chicken Cesar salad was cheaper than I expected, and it was actually tasty.

The opening act was a guy named Valdez (I didn't catch his first name), and Michael Kopp. Valdez was the main guy, and he introduced them, and said a couple of things that I really didn't catch, except for that Kopp was going to be playing the electric cello.

So, the opening act was decent, not great, but interesting because I've never heard an electric cello before, and it was an interesting instrument. A little violin and a little percussion, the way Kopp played it, anyway.

Kopp reminded me of my father, actually. They're probably about the same age, and the both have a kind of far away feeling to them. Kopp has much longer hair than my father, and while he would play, he would head bang, and a couple of times I think his playing was a little out of tune because he couldn't see to hit the right notes.

He also had this interesting way of holding up his cello after each song. Most of the time he would even stand up, and hold it up, like he was praising it, or perhaps supplicating to it. In the end I decided that I really liked the electric cello, and there were some interesting songs featuring it, including one that I liked with a eastern or mid-eastern feeling.

There were two people that set up for Marc. One was at the table when I bought a ticket, and he was somewhat bitter about there not being any advertising for the show, and he didn't like the idea of half price for students (I really liked that idea). The ticket guy mentioned that it hadn't even made the paper, which I agree is sad. Anyway, he's the one running the sound board.

The other one was wearing a red shirt, and what looked like jeans that were cut off close to the length of capri pants. This guy went into my notebook as "red shirt" and he was really pretty, and the capris made him seem gay. I just thought I'd mention him, because he was one of the highlights of the night.

So finally Marc comes out, and actually I was calling him "red shirt 2" in my notes because he was wearing a red polo, one of those French caps . . . I can't remember the right name at the moment. Before I get to the playing, I just want to say that he's heavier than he looks on the cover of his CD (I checked after Scott gave it to me) and he's standing on a shag rug with no shoes on while he's playing, which was an interesting quirk. He also has a full beard now, which is very different that the picture.

The opening number was a solo, a sad piece about a boy named Casey that is the heir to a funeral home chain. I know that it's cliché to describe a voice as soulful, but Marc's voice was ten times better than Valdez, and you could hear absolutely every single word he spoke. I could even hear the accent, and that's quite a trick when you're singing.

Everyone pretty much stopped. Maybe some of them knew who he was, but I wasn't even sure that it wasn't just a band mate. It didn't matter, because it was so powerful that everyone was spellbound.

The next song, I guess is a new one that is going to be on his upcoming album . . . which I'm going to buy, because they've got me hooked. Anyway, the song was about having a good body image, and it actually reminded me of Christina Aguilera's song "Beautiful" in a really deeply moving way. In hindsight, I guess he wrote it because he's on the heavier side, but really, when he sang it, I thought it was about a girl. After all, he's a musician, and he's not obese, so really he probably gets tons of love.

The band joined in for the third song. The drummer was a thin white guy named Sean Gilmore. He seemed kinda white trash (I feel bad about saying that, but not enough not to say it). The bassist was black, and named Calvin Turner, and he was also really cute. They sang backup for a couple of the songs (it took me much too long to figure that out).

It was probably just the song, but they got about nine times louder for a while after the band joined in. I noticed that red shirt was off to one side, taking pictures while they were playing.

It was still good music though, and after they finished the third song, Marc had to check the score of the game. "Still 3-nothing?" he asked, and people laughed, and then after every other song, people would call out the score. It was a game between the Jaguars (who I've never heard of) and the Saints (take a wild guess) but I think the Jaguars won.

They played a lot of interesting music, and they had a lot of fun up on the stage. Sometimes, Marc would sing a line, and the bassist would imitate it on the bass. There were some drum solos too, and there was one at the end of the song that made Marc laugh right at the wrong time, and he had to pick up the song after a pause.

The sixth song was "Save Me," and I guess it's his big hit, because the crowd just went wild with it. Even I had a really good time with it. Granted, I also had to go to the bathroom right in the middle of it, but it was still beautiful.

I think my favorite song live was "Lonely Night in Georgia" which was a different arrangement than the one on the CD. It was much sadder, for one thing, and slower, and he gave it this heart wrenching twist. The vocals on the CD are all uniform, but performed live, he hit it with absolutely every ounce of soul behind it.

After ten songs, which was the song that he laughed and had to pick up, incidentally, the crowd just wouldn't stop clapping. I stood, and so did nearly everyone. The clapping must have gone on for a minute and a half. He came back, did another song with his band, and then another solo, but instead of the funeral motif where he started, this one was a love song, and that one was great as well. It was a nice song to end on, because it had some hopeful language in it, so it was slow but uplifting.

So, that was the concert. I should mention, there can't have been more than 40 people there, and I think he's probably a big enough name that 40 people should be insulting, but I had a great time, so I hope he knows that those of us that were there had a phenomenal time.

Before the concert, I don't know how I heard it, but I overheard two people in front of me mention that they'd caught a cab out from downtown and it had cost them a lot of money, so I approached them and offered them a ride back into town (even though I live right across the street from the venue).

I didn't catch her name, but Scott was the husband, and they were from Boulder. They told me this story about how they went with their son to one of Marc's concerts, and their son was such a big fan he tried to get out of the underage section with a fake ID, got caught, and got arrested. And then they waited until after the concert to go get him out of jail.

Anyway, they had an extra CD, I guess, and they gave it to me for giving them a ride. I was trying to save them some money, but I probably didn't save them that much because of how much CD's cost. I actually was somewhat surprised about that. I mean, I thought they'd try to give me a couple of bucks, and I was going to refuse it, but I couldn't refuse the CD. As I pointed out at the beginning of the story, I've been listening to it, and it's really good.

I got them back to their bed and breakfast with some "creative driving" and headed home. Overall, it was a really good night.

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