It’s Always the ‘Year of the Cat’ for Al Stewart!
As it is in my house (with four long-haired cats), but Wednesday night it was all Al Stewart‘s ‘Year of the Cat’ at Club Passim. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to see this show, and we were lucky to get tickets for his second sold-out performance.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m extremely open-minded about hearing live music – if I trust someone’s opinion, I’ll go hear the band. The previous night, my friend suggested we go. I knew Al’s biggest hits – ‘Year of the Cat’, “Time Passages’, ‘On the Border’ and ‘Song on the Radio’ – but not much of his deep catalog, so I was looking forward to the show.
The show started with Dave Nachmanoff taking the stage. What a pleasant surprise he was! Dave did three or four songs solo, and I really enjoyed what I heard. He’s an intelligent man – he used to be a philosophy professor – and a talented guitarist.
After he finished his short solo set, Al took the stage with Dave (or should I say Dave stayed on the stage with Al). This was a first for me – usually the opener leaves the stage when the headliner takes it, possibly returning to play a number or two with the headliner.
As I wrote, I’m familiar with his hits, but Al has a very deep catalog. He mentioned several times that he’s written 400 or 500 songs. The third song into the set was ‘Time Passages’; they did not play it the same way it was recorded. To me, one of the signs of a good artist is that they can improvise on a classic so it’s enjoyable not only for the audience but for the artist as well.
They played two sets of an hour each. Al and Dave are good together, trading guitar leads. They have wonderful stage chemistry.
Al’s stage presence, at least at an intimate venue like Passim, is warm and inviting. He invited the audience to shout out requests, and I have to confess I didn’t know most of them. A number of times during the show, Al joked about forgetting the lyrics to songs. I suppose if I knew the songs well, that might have bothered me. Instead, I found it very endearing that he forgot but didn’t get flustered.
I’m so glad I saw this show.
Posted on November 15, 2013, in concert reviews, Uncategorized and tagged Al Stewart, boston, Cambridge, Club Passim, concert, Dave Nachmanoff, music, Time Passages, Year of the Cat. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.