Graham Parker & the Rumour kicked off their current American tour in Minneapolis last night. My usual excuse for posting these notes on local concerts is to alert you to worthy shows that may be appearing soon at a venue somewhere near you. My excuse applies here; Parker and band’s brief tour continues with performances in Chicago, Cleveland, New York, DC (at the Birchmere in Alexandria) and elsewhere. The schedule is posted here. Parker’s biography is posted here.
Last night’s show was packed with appreciative fans. I sat in the first row up against the stage, facing guitarist Brinsley Schwarz, and snapped the shot above. Sitting in the midst of knowledgeable fans, I found appreciation for the quality of the show, the intimacy of the performance, and a set list that ranged over Parker’s career, from Howlin’ Wind to Mystery Glue.
Parker used to be an angry young man. Now he’s a bemused senior citizen. It’s a challenging transition. Parker seems to have made it with wit and humor. It can’t hurt to have his old band along for the ride. They are outstanding, and their continuing work together at a high level with all members accounted for must defy the musical if not the actuarial odds.
An album title like Mystery Glue gives off a Spinal Tap kind of a vibe, and the band’s appearance lends itself to the thought. The thought is mistaken; Parker and the band still make it sound new. If you have any interest, I think you would enjoy the show and thank me for sending you.
One of the show’s highlights was a song whose refrain offers a piece of introspective wisdom. Off of Squeezing Out Sparks, “Nobody Hurts You” went down like this in performance in 1979 (video below). I thought it sounded better than ever last night.