As anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile knows, Wolf Trap is my favorite concert venue. When I saw their announcement that David Gray and Amos Lee were going to be playing there together during the week of my birthday I tweeted something about it. My friend Jenny rightfully pointed out to my husband that the tweet was a hint aimed at him. Even with that prompting he apparently failed to get it. His company has box seats at Wolf Trap and he can put in to win tickets to up to two events per month. In May he told me the two events he put in for, and I just looked at him kind of dumbfounded. I said first of all one of those dates I’m out of town at a conference and second you didn’t even put in for the one concert I told you I wanted to go to. I then reminded him of this Twitter exchange. Apparently this conversation finally made things click for him.
On Monday night he told me I had to come straight home after work on Tuesday and not go to the gym because we had plans that night. I’m no dummy so I immediately figured out that he had in fact bought tickets to the concert. Unless we happen to wind up in his company’s box seats I generally prefer to get lawn seats at Wolf Trap because I like that you can picnic on the lawn during the concert. Paul wound up buying us seats inside the pavilion, which actually worked out well for last night. In the best of traffic Wolf Trap is a little over an hour away from us. At rush hour on a weeknight it takes forever. Last night it took about an hour and 45 minutes by the time we parked and got to our seats. We arrived just before the concert started, so it was good we had reserved seats because wherever we would have found space on the lawn at that point we would not have been able to see from.
It was a gorgeous summer night out, and it was the perfect chill concert to sit outside, enjoy the weather, and listen to some great music. For the most part Amos Lee and David Gray both play music that is not going to inspire anyone to get up and dance, so it was nice to be able to just sit back and take in their music.
This was my first time seeing either one of them live. I’ve had the chance any number of times. I did once try to find someone to go see David Gray with me, but no one was interested. This was back before I decided to start going to concerts by myself because life is too short to not do something you want to do even if you have to do it alone. I’m pretty sure that most of my friends have no idea who Amos Lee is, and although I do like his music for some reason I just never felt strongly enough about seeing him to go alone. Apparently the perfect trifecta of David Gray, Amos Lee, and Wolf Trap made it all worth the effort though.
I never really know how to describe Amos Lee’s music. I don’t think it falls strictly in one genre. It’s kind of folk and soul, but there’s someone in the band who plays pedal steel so there’s obviously country influence in there as well. He has this great soulful, deep voice that you can kind of feel in your chest. I love it. Amos Lee was not quite what I was expecting live though. Let’s just say he was a lot more bro-like than I was anticipating based on listening to his music. There was a lot of rapping of lyrics that does not occur on the studio albums. I enjoy people playing around with their songs live though, so I didn’t mind. He sang a lot of stuff of the Mission Bell album, which is my favorite so I was happy about that. I was sad that he didn’t play “Chill in the Air”, but he was the opener so I guess you take what you can get in the limited amount of time there is in opening set. He was fun, and the music was great so I’d definitely see him again live if I got the chance.
David Gray’s set was enjoyable as well. He pretty much played every song I could have hoped that he would play. On songs that he wasn’t sitting at the piano he did get up and dance around the stage, which was fun to watch. He did pretty much just play straight through though and didn’t change up the songs in any way from their original form. You know me I’m all about a little stage banter, jokiness, storytelling, etc. to go along with the songs, and as I already said I like people who will play around with their songs a little bit when playing live. It makes me feel like I’m getting something more than I would get just by listening to an album. I really did enjoy the set, but unlike someone else I know, it wasn’t something that makes me feel compelled to rush right out and see him again. I definitely sometimes leave concerts thinking how can I possibly see this person again as soon as possible. I didn’t leave with that feeling last night.
All in all it was a great summer concert, and I’m really glad I got to go.
One thought on “David Gray with Amos Lee at Wolf Trap”
Nice review. I considered David Grays performance the 2nd worst act I have seen in the past 10 years at the Wolf Trap. I sat 1st row and I agree with you on Mr Lee. Not what I was expecting live,…but he is extremely talented, he gave 100% to his performance and his appreciation for the fans and the moment appeared genuine.
David Gray was absolutely pathetic. He started the show by issuing a half hearted apology that he wasn’t feeling it or well or something??? His band looked high and seemed really unhappy. It would do his conceited rear end some good to go watch the first 3-4 songs of that show. That’s when paying fans started to get up and leave around me.
Since I had great seats, I made the most of it. It almost seems like he’s reached that point of his life that performing is nothing more than a paycheck for him – I’d bet after performances like this, he won’t be headlining for anyone at. venues like the wolf trap or radio city in years to come.
Don’t waste your time and money on someone that comes off so into themselves that he could care less that you paid to see him. He rushed his set, made his money, and called it a night. The truth.