Last Thursday the 4th, Morgan and I saw Mike Doughty at the Bowery Ballroom. I’d never heard of Mr. Doughty or his former band Soul Coughing before Morgan’s invite to the show, but it had been ages since Morgan and I had shared a drink. Anyway, I’m always up for live music.
I arrived late, but Morgan assures me I didn’t miss anything. We caught a few seconds of the duo that was playing right before the headliner, but something about the way the guitarist’s acoustic was amplified didn’t agree with my ears so we stuck pretty closely to the downstairs bar until Mike hit the stage.
Continuing the no bass theme started at The White Stripes gig, the majority of the set featured Mike Doughty’s voice, strat and a small amp. On about half of the songs he was joined by “Doveman” who was as loved by the crowd as he was unknown to me. Man, am I out of the loop. Check out Morgan’s post about the show for much more info on the goings on.
Overall, I had a pretty good time. Doughty’s songs were simple enough that even a quasi-guitarist like me could pick them up, and had pretty clever lyrics from what I was able to gather from Morgan’s word for word backup singing. He’s got a really dry voice (Mike, not Morgan) that made the songs seem particularly vulnerable and counteracted some of the syrupiness of the subject matter. I’m not going to run out and pick up the Soul Coughing catalog, but the songs I’ve gotten from Morgan will be a nice addition to my collection.
The best part of the whole night for me was getting a peak into yet another non-commoditized rock music scene. The majority of people in attendance seemed like true fans, and they greeted the opening notes of almost every song with cheers and whistles. Morgan was amused by the higher than average percentage of people rocking the official indie rock nerd glasses, but I was having too much fun to notice. It was awesome to see a group of people who still appreciate real music performed by people with real instruments.
The only downside was the mandatory encore. Mike Doughty made fun of the whole thing by announcing that he was going to “go backstage and pretend the show was over for a minute”, but I would have preferred that he actually not go through the whole encore posturing rather than just being ironic. Can someone explain to me why every band in the world has to make believe their show is over in order to get called back for an encore? Does anyone really think they are really going to call it a night without playing their respective “Freebird”? Of course not.
All in all a fun show!