There are probably alot of people who know me really well who don't know that David Gray is one of my favorite musicians. I own 5 of his albums, which puts him in rare company - up there with The Beatles, The Who, and Wilco in terms of occurences in my collection.
I don't mention him much - the problem with Mr. Gray is that I've always attached him to other people, to a relationship. I discovered him almost simultaneously with my ex-girlfriend, thanks to his song, Please Forgive Me, being played at my college radio station. After we broke up, I found it hard to listen to his music. It kind of lends itself to either being in love, or being melancholy about a failed relationship. As Jack Black puts it, "Sad Bastard Music." It was almost too painful to listen to. If you need an example, listen to this song.
Until, of course, I fell head-over-heels for someone in 2004. Someone who was very much a music fanatic. I, of course, wanted to share one of my favorite artists with her. As that relationship ebbed and flowed, I alternated between wanting to listen to him, and not wanting to...depending on where I thought it was going. After it failed miserably, I put him away again.
When I found out he was coming to town, I was very much torn about whether I should go. I didn't have anyone to go with (I love the guy, but not the kind of show you take another dude to), but I knew he would sell out quickly. His cancelled show at The Tabernacle, which turned into this one at The Fox, sold out in less than an hour. I finally decided to get 2 tickets, and hope I could find someone to come along...which I did.
The best part about the show was sharing it with 3500 other people, enjoying his music. Knowing that it was personal to so many people, and being amongst so many of his fans, felt like being emancipated from having to associate it with any one person ever again.
In case you are wondering, the show was unbelievable. I can't help put be amused watching thousands of Atlanta yuppies being mesmerized by a short, stocky, Welshman. The songs sounded like they came right off the albums, with the same intensity and passion. It's just a shame that he only comes to The States once every 3 or 4 years.
By the way, if you ever take someone to a concert where your seats aren't exactly A+, do what I did:
a) Make sure the show has great lighting
b) Bring someone who is in to theatrical lighting.
Easy enough, right?