Saturday, July 5, 2014

Natalie Merchant

The day dawned bright, sunny, mild and dry.  We went early to Great Barrington to eat before our Natalie Merchant concert.  The intent to eat octopus at the Agean Breeze Greek restaurant was spoiled by many, many others with the same thing in mind.  So we went to the local Mexican place where we have eaten and know to be good.  Indeed, it was with fresh ingredients and well prepared.  
Merchant was at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.  This was the second show of her tour for a new album.  She's been on sabbatical for a number of years while raising her daughter.  But at 50 she still has a beautiful voice with that identifiable timbre.  She also still twirls and dances to the music as she seems to conduct the band.  The band which had a cello, double bass, viola and 2 violins along with the bass and lead guitars, drums and piano.  The drummer, Allison Miller, and the lead guitar, Gabe Gordon have been with her a while. Merchant seemed a bit nervous and unable to connect with the audience in the beginning.  I had visions of Dylan.  But toward the end and especially during the very long encore she was very relaxed, joking and interacting with people.