I was surprised how many people there were to see Justin play. Well, now that I think about it, why was I so surprised? He and his bassist Bryn Davies did sound really good. He mentioned that he wants his next record and subsequent tour will have a more ‘live’ feel to it utilizing a full band. Should definitely be something to look forward to. A ‘proper’ review here. More photos here.
Cool ‘preview’ of his set later that night at Smalls. There’s something about a dude with a guitar that can hold an audience’s rapt attention for a half hour or so. I have always noticed the few times I have seen him that ‘where’ he plays is almost as important as ‘how’ he plays. Seeing him in a room with 50 people is a totally different experience than seeing him perform outside to a crowd of a couple thousand. Listen to the set here. More photos here and here.
This was my second time seeing Justin and even though he was good both times, I came away from the sets wondering what his intimate music would be like in a less ‘grandiose’ atmosphere. The grandeur of the Benedum and the vastness of Point State Park kinda swallowed the vibe for me. Thankfully, he is returning to the smaller stage of Mr. Smalls in August. I would love to hear him with a full band. Here’s hoping… Listen to a WYEP studio session from earlier in the day here. More photos here.
Continuing ‘Openers’ week, Justin supported Kris Kristofferson at the fest. Playing solo acoustic to a large crowd who were waiting for another act could be a daunting position to be in. He handled it like a pro and actually engaged the audience in that I really didn’t hear much babbling during his set. In fact, there was more chatter during Kristofferson’s show than Justin? Probably because more people showed up but still
So as the Three Rivers Arts Festival came to a close last night, at least for me, I am kicking myself as I write this. Some of my favorite bands and friends are playing on the main stage and I am not there. No worries. I just had to take a break from the picture taking to hang with my lovely family. Some things are more important ya know. Tomorrow as the fest ends officially with Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller, I am taking the less popular route and checking out Dawes at Hartwood. Call me crazy but ‘North Hills’ is totally kicking me arse. Here are my thoughts and images on this year.
My sincerest of thanks go out to my friends at The Cultural Trust who actually have faith in my photographic abilities. It means everything to me. You are wonderful.