Friday, July 29, 2005

An outrageously good concert last night

I went to see Antony and the Johnsons last night with a lovely group of people that included this blogger and another one I'm tempted to link to but won't in case it exposes the connection between her daytime identity and her top-secret exciting blogger one. The concert was truly spectacular, just magically good--it was at the Town Hall, every seat was full and everyone in the audience was completely mesmerized. (The last thing I saw there, randomly, was David Remnick interviewing Sy Hersh at the New Yorker festival. Clearly this is a high-quality venue.) I loved every single minute of it, Antony is an extraordinary musician and with the most amazing voice and a really lovely rapport with his band members as well (that bass player is adorable), and I have been listening to the albums like crazy and every single song is great. He has the gift of ratcheting up the emotional intensity so that everyone's on the edge of their seat, and meanwhile his voice is as silky and powerful as ever. Here's a review of a show that sounds much like the one last night--I thought highlights were "Dust and Water," where he asks the audience to hum and sings a quite haunting little song a capella except for, oh, it must be something like 4,000 people very quietly humming; and the Lou Reed encore, "Candy Says," one of my favorite Lou Reed songs of all time. Seriously, if you're not listening to Antony, you must get hold of his albums and start to do so RIGHT NOW, you will not regret it: here's the first and the second on Amazon, or of course you can get it from iTunes but I can't be bothered to link.

Addendum: I recently almost put down a novel after the first few chapters (see fuller account here), and it was a reference to Antony and the Johnsons that made me keep reading, I felt it signaled something more offbeat and appealing about the author's taste than I had yet seen in the first chapters.

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