|The show occurred at The Cedar Cultural Center, an old, gutted movie theater.
The stage is raised about 3 feet off the floor, and folding chairs are set out in
a half moon shaped configuration. I would guess there was around 400 people
in the room. Demographics ranged in the 21-50 range with about 3/4 of the
room being Male. After I arrived, with my wife and a buddy, I found the band
in the green room, about 35 minutes prior to show time. Kenny was antsy, and
split before I had a chance to say anything but hello. Viktor, Claudia, and Bill
were sitting in a circle and made room for me. They had driven up from Iowa
in a rented van and had a night off the prior evening. I handed Bill a hand-full
of non-jazz bootlegs, and he thanked me saying he loved it when I brought
music cause they were always "weird". From Bill I consider that a compliment
. He looked particularly interested in the William
Burroughs Interview Disc and an unadorned case and CD-R named Johnny Cash
-Sessions. And the C,S,N,Y demos disc grabbed his curiosity, as well. Anyway,
after 15 minutes I cut out and shortly after wards the band hit the stage. Bill,
playing a yellow Telecaster, plunged right into "Hard Times", then played something
new...a kinda monkish 3 bar blues form, with Kenny soloing the entire tune. Next
was "Blues For L.A" with Kenny again playing around with the time signatures.
Next was a straight a-head version of Lucinda William's "Ventura". Bill was
taking his time building each song again. It's great fun to watch him work, isn't
it?!. Following song started with a solo Bill intro and morphed into an intensely
restrained version of Dylan's "Masters of War". Bill's solo was rowdy, chunky
and at medium to loud volume. It SMOKED! The audience erupted...perhaps a Bush
hating group?! Next up was "That Was Then". I'm alway amazed by Viktor's hand
strength, and this tune and "Lookout for Hope"
really showcase him inside this context. Intermission. Second set was really just
beautiful. Mostly straight-ahead versions of songs, and Bill nervously talking to
the audience. After opening with the Hank Williams tune "Lost Highway", he called
out a World Premiere! It was a slowed down bluegrass/old time tune that Bill
said "was about a woman". Beautiful, it was. Without breaking he jumped next
into "Just Like a Woman". Next, the afore mentioned "Lookout for Hope". Bill then
said the next song was about a single girl with really nice clothes and another
woman, married, with "crummy clothes and a baby". I didn't recognize it, but it
was a rootsy kind of track...the kind Bill seems to love. He closed the show with
the third Bob Dylan song of the night..."A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall". And the
band encored once with "What The World Needs Now". All in all, it seemed like
Bill was doing a show in response to the un-understandable Bush victory. It
was a beautiful show...with a conscience.
They handed out a cool card to each of us, and had stacks laying around..
One side has a picture, drawn and autographed by Bill (pre-printed). The other
side advertises Unspeakable, Viktor's CD, and Songtone.com.
-Bryan Aaker for The Bill Frisell Discography
|The Bill Frisell Trio @ Cedar Cultural Center in Mpls., Mn. Nov. 5th, 2004|