November 29, 2006
The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, CA
You might know of Dave Barnes, an independent musician out of Nashville, TN for more reasons than just his recorded music. It might be from his production of his friend and fellow musician Matt Wertz’s records, or from co-writing songs by Bebo Norman, Bethany Dillon, Marc Broussard and Micah Dalton. Regardless, if it’s not from his live show then you definitely need to enlighten yourself.
The first time I was fortunate enough to see Dave perform was last June and I was completely taken back. Touring in support of his third release, Chasing Mississippi, Dave has honed his live show to near perfection. This time around he brought along a bassist and a drummer and has again exceeded my expectations.
With a mix of songs dating back to 2001’s Three Then Four EP, Dave played with an open ended set time and the crowd stayed all the way through. One of the things that makes his live show so entertaining would be the comedy in-between songs. Dave told a three to five minute story for every two songs he played and I wonder why he didn’t pursue a career in stand-up. Further proving my thought that ‘awkward is the new sarcastic’- he confessed his desire to one day end a show as a figure skater ends a perfect performance. Check out some photos I have posted on our photos page for proof!
Beyond the incredible band, comedy and guitar work, the most impressive aspect of his live show is his voice. At times it was the only thing present, letting his acoustic guitar fade to a light strum, or even diminish completely. He hit every note of every song he does on his albums and it showcased even more emotion than a recording could convey. Mid-set, the band took a break and Dave played two definite fan favorites, ‘On A Night Like This’ and ‘Nothin Fancy,’ both causing a formidable stillness in the crowd. While he’s no Sinatra, Dave brings a new flavor to love songs, and I think the formula is simple. He’s honest in every single word he sings.
Something incredible that Dave shared with the audience was his involvement in the Mocha Club. The Mocha Club is an organization that helps with some of the many problems currently in Africa. To join, it costs $7 a month and 90% of your money goes directly to funding the projects. In Kenya, $7 can feed 9 orphans 3 meals a day, that fact alone prompted me to want to be involved. It’s something I’m very passionate about, and I suggest you at least take a look at.
All in all, this was one of the best performances I’ve seen all year. His humor and his talent are present from beginning to end. There’s no question in my mind that I’ll definitely be in attendance the next time Dave is in town.
Thanks to Dryve Managment and Dave Barnes for letting me attend this show!