On Friday night I went to see the Cowboy Junkies at the Palace Theater in Manchester. It was the first time I'd been to Manchester since high school and I can't say I remembered anything about it from what I saw. I still haven't even been to the airport there, which everyone says is much easier to deal with than flying in or out of Logan.
I hadn't seen the Cowboy Junkies before or even listened to them much except for various songs I've heard on the radio over the years. That still didn't stop it from being a very enjoyable evening of music. The venue and the music were a great match. I can't imagine another setting could have been more approriate to their languid, dreamy sound. The sound quality was excellent. During the first set I thought I'd never seen a band that sounded so much like their recorded sound live. It was a great mix which must attritbute to the acoustics of the theater, their sound crew and the band members having good monitors and actually listening to each other. Most every show I see someone is too loud and someone else is muddy and everyone is competing to be audible over the drums. None of that was going on there.
Margo Timmin's voice is so beauitful and she has a very down to earth stage presence that makes you think she's someone you could sit with in a coffee shop or your living room and talk with like a real person who just happens to have the most incredible voice. The musicianship all around was superb and it was easy to drift off into their slow, bluesy jams and slightly psychedelic sidetrips.
The Palace Theater is a wonderful, old theater, but just like the Opera House in Boston, the seats upstair are tiny. I'm not a particularly large person and my shins were digging into the back of the seat in front of me the entire night. The music was good enough that I didn't care and didn't even notice much at times.
Apparently I'm quite late to the bandwagon, seeing as how the band has been together for about 20 years, but it's nice to make a discovery this far down the line and have all that early material yet to discover.