We went to see Aimee Mann in concert at the Ram's Head Live on July 25th. I've enjoyed listening to her music and she is a regular staple on my iPod. Heather was less familiar with her music (and, in fact could not recall any of her songs even after the concert). Ram's Head was apparently the final stop on her tour promoting her latest album: @#%&*! Smilers.
Her opening act, Nicole Atkins, wasn't someone with whom either of us was familiar, but she had a good selection of rock-folky songs which she performed with her guitar and a second guitarist who also sang some vocals. A strong acoustic performance for the reasonably intimate setting.
Aimee Mann's band consisted of her plus two other musicians. She announced that she had initially planned to do an all-request show but then explained that her band wasn't up to learning all 90+ songs in her catalog in the time they had available. So she had printed lyrics (it was a THICK notebook) and was going to do her best.
She played a lot of songs, many of them not the usual faire. B-sides, obscure or difficult songs and a few favorites as well. In all she played 23 songs which is a lot for any musician. I've listed them below and I will put some notes with the ones where something unusual happened.
During the show there was a clipboard that was floating around for requests and questions. I didn't record them because she mumbled a little when she read them and didn't always give coherent answers. I can only hope that the people who asked them understood the answers.
- Nightmare Girl
- Build that wall
- I Don't Even Know You
- You could make a killing
- Save Me ===============
- Clean up for Christmas
- Wise Up
This song featured one of the more spectacular displays of musicianship I've ever seen. Aimee played her guitar and a high-hat cymbal and the keyboardist used a rhythmic shaker in one hand and played the piano with the other and the third musician played rhythm guitar and a few notes on another keyboard. Brilliant!
- Little Bombs
- Nothing is good enough:
Aimee played this one on the piano. Normally I wouldn't note this except she was having trouble remembering the chords and kept cursing through the lyrics when she messed it up. It was both funny and entertaining. At one point she actually stopped plaing and said "I am going to play this song even if it sucks and you hate it.". That's professionalism :)
- Mr Harris
- 31 Today
Yes, the Lynard Skynard classic. Sort of. This was a shout-out from the crowd and she said "Fuck it I'm playing Freebird." and the band started a respectable lick. Aimee on the other hand had no idea what the lyrics were but managed to make up her own that more -or-less captured the tone of the original. It was humorous and a good time and everyone appreciated the self-deprecating humor of doing it at all. YAY! Somebody captured it!
- That's just What you are
- Jimmy Hoffa Jokes
- 4th of July
- Invisible Ink ===============
- Red Vines
- Driving Sideways:
Aimee played electric bass for this one
- That's how I knew this story would break my heart.
She started requests here
Aimee and her band left the stage, but the crowd was still standing when she came back for a short encore