"Your Face" brought me back to the tour for Dust, which I saw at its Toronto stop. That show remains one of the most mesmerizing concerts I've ever seen.
I don't want to give the impression that this was a horrible show; it simply wasn't up to Murphy's own lofty standards, overall. And the idea of pairing Murphy with a band as obviously indebted to him as SWR sounded like a great idea, but somehow it didn't quite turn out that way.
And I do have to wonder about people who have $50 to throw away, and who don't even try to pay attention to what is happening onstage. Part of the problem was not just with Murphy and SWR — it was also with an audience that provided little in the way of energy or atmosphere....
I'll stick with sticking the blame on the artists. Both are capable of more and better as I've witnessed on many occasions. The crowd here had the hunger as it were, but were ground down by the schizophrenic, yet samey sounding set of SWR and Peter's wild mood shift. Seattle crowds are quite resilient, but were given precious little to bounce back with this night. That said, I'll be first in line next tour, when everyone is better rested!
New York crowds, despite the city's rep for nastiness, are usually pretty cool and attentive — but on this night, they were off in their own chit-chatty universe right from the start of the evening, so I'll take a shot at them for that. But you are right that the onstage chemistry was just off on this tour, for whatever reason. But hey, I'm still picking Murphy's Ninth as one of my top albums of the year.
Photos by Greg Cristman