Monday, October 27, 2008
Ash St., Oct. 24th 2008 w/ Michale Graves
We got to soundcheck and that, to our mutual surprise, felt pretty good. We got ready per our usual routine (with some very dried-out makeup!) and Heather at Ash St. dimmed the lights and started up the warning siren. As soon as we launched into 20 Pies I knew we were gonna be alright and that my voice was gonna hold. We jawed with the crowd, had another crimson ghost appearance, and cut it off at :30 minutes. Oh and Baloney got one of those roses that those quiet, pushy salesmen seem to always come around with to local bars on weekend nights. That provided great joviality for which I'll promptly be sent to Hell for when I die.
Adrien H was on next, described as "dark acoustic." Basically, it was the eponymous character and his keyboard and then a drummer for accompaniment. It was dark and moody but seemed very contrary to the very non-acoustic energy we started off the evening with. Oh well.
I'd talked with Michale and JV prior to the show and Michale confirmed that he was playing a :90 minute, 27-song set. I think he's got one of the best voices in rawk today and is a great lyricist but I had my doubts as to being engaging for that long with just an acoustic guitar. I'm pleased to report that I was very wrong to doubt!
He played a great variety of his songs, from his time with the Misfits to his solo work (Web of Dharma, etc.) to his collaboration with Damien Echols (Illusions is the name of that album) to entirely new creations from some time overseas this past summer. J.V. joined him for several songs but, primarily, Michale was on his own and was just fantastic. Very laid-back but a good amount of passion behind what he was doing I think everyone in attendance keyed in and appreciated it.
He was touring in part support for the Free the West Memphis 3 fund who had setup a donation jar and such at the merch table that night. It's a compelling case and Graves is a bit of a champion for the cause.
Michale stuck around after and autographed and stayed for pix. He also asked folks to contribute to the WM3 fund, even putting the take of the door we gave him to that. Say what you will about the guy, his heart's in the right place and he's a damn fine entertainer.