M. Ward Friday April 8, 2005 Highlander Cafe Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA

w/ Norfolk & Western, Devotchka (Duo)

Bean Vine Blues #2/I'll Be Yer Bird/Fuel For Fire/Undertaker/Radio Campaign/Helicopter/Green River/Regeneration #1/Poor Boy-Minor Key/Big Boat/One Life Away/Four Hours In Washington

Encore: When You Wish Upon A Star>Fast Rag>You Still Believe In Me/Outta My Head

This superb show was held in a little round room on the campus of CMU. Tickets were $5, but since the wife and I look like students (um, yeah?) we got in for $2. Things weren't looking good when the start time was pushed back an hour and before the doors were to open, the fire alarm went off, twice. Nothing like waiting for the fire department with a giggly bunch of college stoners running the event. 

After a short delay the kids let us in. Nick Urata and Tom Hagerman of Devotchka took the stage and played a quick, surreal set incorporating eastern, flamenco, klezmer, and all around weirdness into a beautiful sound that was highly enjoyable.

I can die happy after finally seeing a theremin solo.

Next up was Norfolk & Western. While not as "strange" as Devotchka, the music was as original and surprisingly good. I bought the new CD and it is very "lo-fi". Live they were much more rocking, not Steve Vai rocking, but more so than represented on the disc.

Adam Selzer handwritten Norfolk & Western setlist

Norfolk & Western autographed If You Were Born Overseas CD cover

M. Ward hit the stage and played a brilliant set. Not that I was too familiar with his stuff (I just have Transistor Radio), but him and the band were extremely impressive in their musicianship. The audience was VERY quiet and respectful all night, and the acoustics were perfect.

For the encore, Matt came out and played a couple solo tunes. At one point he moved the mic away because everyone was abnormally quiet. Superb stuff.

M. Ward autographed Transistor Radio CD cover

M. Ward (upside down), Norfolk & Western, and Devotchka autographed flyer 

After the show, everyone was very nice, especially Rachel and Nic.

 

 

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