Concert: Dar Williams/Girlyman in St. Paul

Artist: Dar Williams

Date: October 29, 2005

Opening Act: Girlyman

Venue: O’Shaughnessy Auditorium

City: St. Paul, MN

Review by [Amy Lotsberg] Producer of Collected Sounds

Aside from a little guest list snafu when I arrived the show was wonderful. Girlyman opened. They are a folk group out of New York: Nate Borofsky, Doris Muramatsu, and Ty Greenstein. I had heard of them before, but never heard more than one of their songs. So I was really looking forward to seeing them.

I was not disappointed. Their first song, which was a Paul Simon cover (“Born at the Right Time”) had them folking right out of the gate. My husband said he was having an “A Mighty Wind” moment. I’ll admit, it was a little much, but then they played their own songs, which were much more, I don’t know, hip?

Great harmonies, fun songs, hilarious stage banter. I loved the story about Mandy the transgendered mandolin who is dating Banjolina the newly “out” banjo. Then Ty, the drummer talked about how when she goes into rest stop bathrooms the ladies scream (with their eyes) because they think she’s a boy in the wrong bathroom. So for this tour she brought a pink sparkly barrette to wear.

They were a real treat, I am looking forward to seeing them again.

Girleyman Set List
1. Born at the Right Time
2. Fall Stories
3. Speechless
4. Young James Dean
5. St. Peter’s Bones
6. Kittery Tide
7. Shape I Found You In
8. Postcards from Mexico
9. Son of a Preacher Man (Dar came out and sang back up)

Dar hit the stage at about 9:10 and continued to play for a good 90 minutes. She was her usual charming, witty self and the songs sounded fantastic.

She told some great stories too, not that I can remember any of them. I was kind of transfixed.

I was pretty blown away by The Empire Fell as her guitarist was allowed to get all crazy-like. I’ve never heard sounds like that from a Dar song before. It was very cool.

There was one point after a representative from the Domestic Abuse center came out and did a speech, where Dar said she was going to play a family song. I just had a feeling that The Babysitter’s Here was coming and I was excited. But as she started introducing it, she starting talking about how she used to freak her parents out by doing crazy things, and I knew she’d changed her mind. She said, “Oh, no, I’ll play this one instead”, and went into When I Was a Boy. They’re both good songs, but it doesn’t seem like a Dar show without The Babysitter…

As Cool as I Am was a highlight, of course.

Dar’s Set list

1. Teen for God
2. So Close to My Heart
3. Spring Street
4. Echoes (with Girlyman)
5. Miss You Til I Meet You (with Girlyman)
6. Another Mystery (with Girlyman)
7. Beauty of the Rain
8. Empire Fell (crazy guitar)
9. The One Who Knows
10. When I was a Boy
11. Two Sides (blues)
12. Beautiful Enemy
13. Mercy of the Fallen
14. Are you Out There?
15. As Cool as I Am

Encore:
16. We Learned the Sea
17. Iowa

[Dar Williams Official Site]

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