Xavier Rudd (7/24/07)

Having only first heard of Xavier Rudd a couple months ago from a friend who spent time in Australia, he has become one of my favorite live acts. Just by looking at the pictures you can imagine why. I'm a little surprised I haven't heard of him before, but judging from the relatively small audience at the House of Blues, I think he's still working on building a US fanbase. This shouldn't be a difficult task. He's obviously a great musician, but he's also socially conscious, charming, and adorable. :)

But let's not get ahead of ourselves... I'd like to think of this entry as my first "professional" blog entry. Since starting this, I've been able to get on a few music promotion lists where I get CD's and get offered tickets. Unfortunately they're often for acts I'm not crazy about. Xavier was quite a change, and while the tickets weren't initially offered, I asked and they quickly agreed - photo pass and all! I couldn't wait to walk past the HOB security, proudly carrying a camera. However, I first had to deal with lazy staff requiring me stand around for about 20 minutes waiting for someone to find my tickets and pass, ugh. Just another negative HOB experience. By the time I got in, I missed the first couple songs of Serena Ryder. What a shame... She blew me away with the few songs I got to hear, including an amazing cover of Neil Young's Heart of Gold. Just an average looking woman who had a BOOMING voice and a confident and unusual stage presence. She commanded your attention. I definitely need to see her again as the main performer.

So you may remember reading about how I lost my camera in Chicago for Pitchfork. Not only a tragedy for photo-taking at the Festival, but also here. The only camera I had access to was an crappy old battery-run, 2 megapixel camera. Emphasis on crappy. After her set, I noticed a walkway between the audience and the stage... I asked a bouncer and found out I was allowed to walk that path for the first 3 songs to take photos! It was at this point I realized that just about EVERYONE had a camera, and were openly taking photos. WTF!? Anyway, here is where my camera performance anxiety set in. Here I am getting to walk in front of the audience with this little, scratched up piece of crap that makes you to wait 10 seconds to recharge between photos... So the pictures are okay, I did my best.

After getting the photos out of the way, I was finally able to enjoy the show. Now comes the tough part... how to describe Xavier. Well, if there was such a thing as hippie, acoustic, island, rock... that would be him. He easily swayed between the mellowest of mellow, to some hard-core didgeridoo rockin. Very nice mix of Paul Simon, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, but can definitely hold his own. The crowd also said a lot, with the dreads, hemp, and power-to-the-people attitude. He definitely loved what he was doing, which you could tell by his constant smile and how he always gleefully peered over his surrounding instruments. But then maybe that was the weed...

Overall, he brought an energy that would keep you coming back again and again, as I plan on doing.

Check out his MySpace page to listen to what I'm talking about.

Posted: Thu - August 2, 2007 at 07:30 AM           |