I’ve probably seen Ben Kweller over twenty times at this point. And every show continues to solidify my love of him. He was one of the first bands I listened to when I got my head out of my ass and started listening to good music. And he remains one of my favorites.
Ben specifically requested to visit the Buskirk again on this tour, and I’m a little disappointed the crowd did not repay him with enthusiasm. However, the mellow vibe lead to perhaps my favorite Ben Kweller performance ever. It was Ben with his guitar (and occasionally him with his piano). There was no backup band. No backup singers. There was just BK and the crowd. At some point, he requested to bring the lights up a little even, making it a more intimate environment. It worked. At times, I forgot there were other people in the audience and thought I was getting a personal concert from him.
And my personal concert contained all my favorites. On Ben’s latest album, Changing Horses, he went in a new direction by incorporating a lot more country roots in his songs. Admittedly, it’s not my favorite album. But there are some gems on it. And this show contained just enough of those for my liking. But mostly, it covered songs off his self titled album and his first, Sha Sha. Two of my favorites from his discography.
The rainy night contributed to the lethargy in the crowd. Ben tried to get the crowd to sing a long at times, but they were just not feeling it, at least not initially. They eventually warmed up by the time the show was over. A little too late, in my opinion.
But regardless of the lackluster crowd, Ben’s performance was fantastic. I might put it down as one of the top two performances of his I’ve seen. I was that impressed. They did record the show last night, and I wish I had bought a copy of it. But I have no patience to stand in merch lines after shows. I’m hoping it will be available on his website eventually.
Julia Nunces opened and was absolutely adorable. I was won over by this kick ass woman playing a ukulele. It’s been awhile since I walked away from a show desperate to hear more of the opener. I can’t be the only one as she told us she’s sold out of all the albums she had on tour with her.