Last Wednesday, my husband and I drove up to Baltimore. We went for 2 days to take a mini vacation, but the motivation for the trip in the first place was David Gray’s stop in Baltimore for his current tour. I’ve written of my love for Mr. Gray before, and I was so excited to get to see him again so soon.
David Gray did not disappoint. He came on stage around 9 pm and left around 11. The show was the best concert I have ever seen in my life. There were times I was so in to the music, I found myself literally sitting on the edge of my seat. Tears rolled down my face a few times – not from sadness but from being so overwhelmed by the music. The Baltimore Sun gave the show a good review, too, so I know it was not just me.
Some of my favorite memories:
- On two different songs, Mr. Gray started over. I really appreciate someone who is committed to giving the audience the best performance of each song and doesn’t mind a do-over.
- He was very chatty with the audience, which is something he does not usually do. At the end of the concert, he told the audience how great we were and said that while he says that at every show, he really meant it this time. I felt like his chattiness was a tell-tale sign of his connection to the audience and how into the night he was.
- Even without Annie Lennox, I still am not a big fan of “Full Steam.” But Draw the Line as an album has really grown on me since I last wrote about it in October.
- “Nemesis” was the highlight of the night for me. It had to have been a 15 minute number – a lot longer than the original recording on the album. He and the band jam a bit and he’s added lyrics. I could have sat there for hours just listening to him sing the one song.
- After “Nemesis” he did a solo acoustic set of two old songs, “Hold On” and “Falling Down the Mountainside,” both of which were fantastic and ones I’ve never heard him do live before.
- After one of his sadder song – I believe it was “Falling Down the Mountainside” – he apologized a bit for the string of depressing songs and explained that he hadn’t plotted it out that way, that he picks the solo acoustic numbers out of the air on stage, which is pretty awesome. He also talked about how there’s a lot of bad out there and we’re all going to get it in the end or something like that.
Afterwards, we walked around to the stage door in hopes of catching him for an autograph. The guys working the door said David would come out after he’d gotten cleaned up, so we were first in line. He eventually came out to a crowd of about 30 who waited. He had a huge wine glass of chardonnay in hand, which I just loved, being a wine fan myself. He was dressed well in a handsome coat. (Side note – he and his band always look so sharp on stage in suits – very handsome and classy.) I was able to have him autograph my copy of Draw the Line for me and my husband snapped a picture of me with Mr. Gray. It’s a little blurry but I am beyond thrilled to have captured the moment. David Gray was so warm to his fans at the door, so genuinely appreciative of us. He has a very kind face up close, chatted a bit and shook our hands. I love his music so much, and it was heartening to see there is a great guy behind it.
(First photo of myself that I am daring to post on my blog!)
I was poking around the internet to see if I could find anything about the live version of “Nemesis” done at other concerts and stumbled on this blog post about the potential meaning behind the lyrics, which I found interesting.
While You Tube videos captured on cell phones never do a live show justice, here are a few links to some great songs (thanks to those who shot the videos!):
- “Fugitive” one of the two songs he started over
- “You’re the World to Me” – a song I just love!
- Part One and Part Two of “Nemesis”