Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ben Kweller at the Echo

After seeing Sonic Youth perform "Daydream Nation" in its entirety back in July, I was thinking more bands should play their albums in their entirety. Flash forward a few months later, Ben Kweller announces he will play all of his albums in their entirety at the Echo. I immediately signed up for Ben Kweller's stellar debut solo album "Sha Sha".

Ben Kweller bounded onto the stage wearing his trademark floppy ear hat and with a red toothbrush in his mouth that immediately brought flashbacks of the cover of his first album "Sha Sha". Ben Kweller has in good spirits as he thanked the audience for coming out. "Sha Sha" originally came out in 2002 and still sounds as fresh as it did when it came out. There was a youthful enthusiasm and spirit captured in the recording of this album. These sentiments were soldified after watching Ben play on this particular night. Ben was frequently smiling and engaged the audience with some caveats of information that The Bens (Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, and Ben Lee) were recording new material for a new release and that he was going back into the studio in September. Ben sat down behind the piano and started hammering out the opening piano riff for "How It Should Be" with its well placed harmonies. "Wasted & Ready" was prefaced by Ben saying that this particular track was usually saved for the closing of a show but was placed as the second track as a way to hit the listener upside the head.

I couldn't help thinking that most of these songs could easily found their way into the Weezer songbook in terms of harmonies and songwriting. The lyric book was a nice souvenir for the show and aided the audience in singing along since Spacleand productions were recording the show. Ben took a break during the set to hand out some red toothbrushes to the crowd and have the audience select 3 random songs out of the "Sha Sha" box for the encore. Ben did manage to debut three new songs with one tune named "Old Hat" that had will have a piano and fiddle solo added to the final mix. Ben's new songs seemed to be an ode to his Texas roots with a heavy alt country vibe. Once the show ended, I made my way up to the front of the stage to check out Ben Kweller's pedalboard to realize that he plugged his Gibson SG directly into the amplifier. I know I will be watching this site for the release of the cd.

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