once upon a time at pearl street nightclub in northampton massachusetts a young joseph went to see wilco. he was unaware of who the opening act was. a guy in a wheelchair came onto stage and sang some songs. that guy was vic chesnutt. joseph was so impressed by vic that he has long forgotten any details of wilco’s show, but could tell you all about vic chesnutt’s.
vic chesnutt is a prolific artist that releases an album almost every year and tours almost all the time. he released two albums over the last couple months, the sprawling at the cut and the rough skitter on take off. so it wasn’t a surprise that he came through town, playing at mississippi studios. his current band is made up of most of godspeed you! black emperor and guy piccotto from fugazi. his live shows are an experience in jagged artistry, and this band is just the canvas he needed. he knows how to use his voice, which is a very distinct one. i’ve never seen a bad show and i’ve seen him plenty.
mississippi studio is a pretty small venue, with a tiny stage that could barely fit the band. the stage is also unfortunately low, which made it real difficult to see vic or the other members of the band who were sitting. we were lucky that we were sitting on stools, that we stood on during the show.
i was pretty blown away by the show. vic was in great form, his voice was strong. he entertained the crowd with stories and general banter, a talent he shares with antony. also like antony, it is hard to take your eyes off of him while he’s performing. they both have affecting voices that can transform a room. the sound at mississippi studios was close to perfect, and the crowd was silent when he sang. the band sculpted a sound that held is voice in such an intuitive way. this band is the perfect group for him, i hope they stay.
sonically it was a great experience.
if it wasn’t for the fact that we couldn’t see a thing unless we were standing on a stool, this would easily fit in to the top twenty shows i’ve seen.