beyonce is sacred.

on saturday i drove up to seattle for the antony & the johnsons show. i went with a murder of lesbians; audrey, rebecca and erin. we met up before the show at the whisky bar across the street from the moore. there we met the nicest kebab guy you’ll ever meet and took a small batch bourbon flight. it would have been a great experience if i had any idea which bourbon was which. the bartender just handed me four glasses, said “that’s a good tray of bourbon”, and turned to the next patron.

johanna constantine opened with two short dance pieces, johanna is a long time friend of antony’s.  i was hoping that she would amaze me, but it wasn’t her night.  johanna seemed crowded on the stage with all the instruments, i think she would have done better on a blank stage. the lighting could have helped by darkening the back of the stage, so you couldn’t see all the instruments. i found it hard to focus on her. i would love to see one of her shows. i imagine her on a black stage with a single light would be striking. also a live soundtrack, or perhaps vinyl played live.

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the show was great, not my favorite antony performance, but still a capital evening. i blame the venue and not antony for it not being perfect. antony & the johnsons seemed in high spirits and pretty relaxed for being on tour, i wondered if they picked up some pot up in vancouver the night before. antony’s voice was fantastic and of course the crowd loved him. antony stayed behind the piano all night, and  the johnson’s all played brilliantly and looked very dapper. all of antony & the johnson’s songs now mean so much more to me since my mother’s passing, especially the songs off the crying light. it was all i listened to in december and january, i can argue that all the song were really written about me, my mother, and the tenuous relationships i have with my family.  i was excited to hear “her eyes are  underneath the ground”, which really isn’t as morbid of a song as the title suggests , and “aeon” the most. both songs were amazing, “her eyes” was subtle beauty and “aeon” was wonderfully soulful. “shake that devil” turned out to be quite the roof raiser live.  another  a big surprise for me was how much i liked the live version of “the crying light”. on the album this song, while beautiful, comes off a little whiny. the live rendition was different, with hints of desperation and longing. the set was centered around the new album, we got a treat when he played “i was young when i left home”. this is a traditional song that bob dylan used to sing, antony recorded a version available on the dark was the night compilation. he said he just wanted to give it a try. he sang with only rob moose playing guitar, and it was remarkable. once again, he performed his cover of beyonce’s “crazy in love”. i love this cover, and this was my first time seeing it non-orchestral. the arrangement was more drum heavy, and antony snapped his fingers. afterward someone in the audience yelled “fuck beyonce” and he quipped “why would you say that”…”beyonce is sacred”.  like all antony & the johnsons shows, it went by too quick.

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the reason for this not being a perfect show, comes from where we were sitting. we had great seats just not acoustically perfect. i don’t really think that is was a sound man issue, the acoustics were against us. antony was often drowned out by the instruments. so i couldn’t fully connect to the performance as i have in the past.

the setlist.

where is my power
her eyes are underneath the ground
epilepsy is dancing
one dove
for today i am a boy
kiss my name
everglade
another world
shake the devil
crazy in love
you are my sister
fistful of love
i was young when i left home
twilight
aeon
cripple and the starfish
hope there’s someone

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