Huge Hope Sandoval Fan.
I loved Monday's Show.
I would see her again anytime, anywhere.
The set list seems to have changed slightly from the other shows. I did really like the Doug Fur venue (first time that I have been there) and the sound was great after some repeated adjustments ( the audience was not shy about chiming in (ie. "turn the vocals up."). It's so funny because I think that she is one of the few people people that I would actually like to to meet out of all of the performers and artists that I admire. The irony is that Hope and Mazzy star- as well as this current incarnation- are not motivated by fame, worship, or being universality admired. This not new, I remember reading articles about Mazzy Star in the early nineties where both members expressed being a bit shy and what not (Mazzy Star and Hope could be famous if they wanted) and utterly uninterested in being admired. So it appears that they are pretty uninterested/apathetic in meeting or mixing with their fans (my perception from a very far remove) . In fairness, I have heard that the supporting casts, accomplished musicians in their own right, do sometimes chill with fans. So this brings me to something I have been wondering: is this a fair criticism or even relevant? What obligation does the band have to the audience? I digress just a tad, let me get to the show:
So, it's Portland. The fans are pretty polite, maybe 250 or so. I met some really, REALLY cool people, that were excited about the show (after a seven year absence, this makes sense). The opening band, "Dirt Blue Gene" (Christ, I hope that's right) were atmospheric and slightly stoic. It was all about sonic psychedelic mood-rock that was understated in the extreme. These guys are the same cats that preform in the Warm Inventions. I think that they maybe said a word, perhaps a sentence to the audience. Now to Hope's show:
So Hope walks out and you just don't want her to disappear (great tune) in vapors. The fans were completely devoted to her. I think, very supportive as well. particular highlights:
Suzanne (smokey, sensual version, very memorable)
Lose me only the way ( a particular highlight here, hope and company killed it!!)
The band is extremely competent live and artistically intact. The songs seemed to last a deliciously long time with smokey vocals and the band's atmospheric backdrop filling the room. I actually found Hope to be charming and of course understated (as was the whole show). She talked to the audience, a bit. Mentioned something about the tall man blocking her view of the sound guy and I think she through in a few "thank you" remarks. There were no diva moments in Portland. She never walked off stage,not once. Would love to hear about the Seattle show from fans who were there. Flash Photos was not an issue there. Although Im not sure why as this requirement was not explicitly stated. I was left wanting more, after 90 minutes.......A good sign.....
Listen guys, I am a Hope fan but It is important for bands to realize that they do not preform in a vacuum; people pay and look forward to the show. A band should feel, especially a band as talented as this one, that they are appreciated. THEY WERE IN PORTLAND. But I also feel that the audience has some expectations of their own (rightfully so). Having realistic expectations about this band, vis a vis fan interaction, is very important. The music is center-point, as it should be. Hope's voice will fill the room, I was transfixed, and moved. But It's not Chris Martin up there. There was nothing in those moments between the songs that approached charisma. The songs themselves however ARE transformative. If you are a fan of the music, the performance will not leave you wanting in any respect. But, if you want to feel stroked, you will walk away disappointed. I should say that if you are a hope fan, you should know better. I am protective of shy people, i loathe pretentious ones. Although musically inclined, I believe that Hope and company are the former. But I believe in them, love their music ( and love is blind).
I would love to hear the thoughts of other fans----