Sunday, November 18, 2007

Concert Review: Aqueduct and Georgie James

Aqueduct played with Georgie James at the World Café Live on Tuesday, November 13th. Both bands played amazing sets in the quiet, seated upstairs part of the venue. With the exception of the poor quality of the sound system – the vocals were barely audible during some of the songs – and the fact that there was a very small crowd, the bands put on excellent performances.

Georgie James consists of John Davis, former drummer of the now-defunct DC band Q and Not U, on guitar and vocals, and his friend Laura Burhenn on piano and vocals. They tour with a full band, and the sound they have together, while worlds different from John’s old band and Laura’s solo work, is a unique blend. They played most of the tracks from their debut album, Places, including my personal favorite, “Long Week.” Laura’s vocals are beautiful and haunting in this piece, as she sings, “so cry your eyes out, pretty baby; hold my hand and trot your tongue; oh, it’s been heavy ‘round you lately, and you’ll feel lighter when you’re done.” It was also wonderful to watch John get into songs like “More Lights” and “Comfortable Headphones.” The two have a great stage presence and are definitely worth seeing live.

When David Terry came out, I was barely able to contain my excitement. David is Aqueduct; he performs solo on his albums, but while touring, he brings a full band with him. This was my third time seeing Aqueduct, and the last time he was at the World Café Live, back in September, my friends and I got to talk to him and hang out with him for a little while. He was still touring for his latest album, Aqueduct…or Give Me Death, his third album on the Barsuk Record label.

They opened with “As Close as Your Girlfriend is Far Away,” from the EP Pistols at Dawn, and went on to play a delightful mix of both old and new songs. From the new album, they played “Keep it Together,” “The Way I Are” (which David introduced as “the most epic song from the new album”), “Split the Difference” (“the fastest Aqueduct song ever written”), and, of course, my personal favorite from the new album, “As You Wish.” It’s a song written about “the best movie ever made” – that’s right, a song about The Princess Bride. David’s lyrics are both catchy and adorable – “hearts and candy, glitter and gold is what I’m dreaming of; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is what I’m waiting for; certainly upon my return, my love won’t be ignored!”

Nor did David ignore his much-loved songs from I Sold Gold. They played “The Suggestion Box,” “Hardcore Days and Softcore Nights,” “Five Star Day,” and a lovely rendition of “Heart Design.” They ended the set with “Growing up with GNR,” possibly one of the best Aqueduct songs ever written. “Whenever you’re lonely, you are not alone,” David seeks to remind us.

The first time I saw Aqueduct, they played “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangster,” but that still didn’t prepare me for their encore: a hilarious performance of Warren G’s “Regulate,” with some of his own lyrics replacing the originals. As always, David’s performance was stellar, and it would only get better when we saw him later in the week in New York City. I would highly recommend picking up his albums and making it out to his next show, if you can. He is a unique performer with a wonderful voice, great lyrics, and a stage presence that makes his smile and energy contagious.

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