I returned to the scene of what was one of the most surprising and entertaining shows of 2006 last night as Joseph Arthur returned to the 20th Century Theatre for a performance. The crowd was a bit lighter than last time around, but last time was also a weekend affair. Arthur’s backing band was similar to last time around, but now had the official title of “The Lonely Astronauts” and also had added Golden Smog member and multi talented artist Kraig Jarret Johnson.
The band had already wowed us earlier in the day in the WOXY lounge and the evening performance was no different. Playing mostly songs from the new album, Let’s Just Be, Arthur and his crew rifled through an excellent and entertaining 90 minute set. The band wore smiles all around for the majority of the set and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves all night.
It’s an interesting thing too, related to the new record, which I have found to be very uneven up to this point, at how amazing the material translates live. I’m not sure if that is because, as Joseph said earlier in the day, “It’s a grower.” Or possibly just because the rawness of the recordings, which seem almost like a huge batch of demos through speakers but completely entertaining in a live setting. But that is probably the best way to describe the show last night for me. It was a process of me taking the opinions about the new album and crossing over to the other side of the fence. So while Let’s Just Be is certainly still an overall uneven album throughout its 80 minutes, there are some true gems hidden within it and hearing them live is even more of a treat.
Here are the remaining dates Arthur is playing on his current tour, also, be sure to pick up a special embossed version of Let’s Just Be from Joseph’s website.
25-Apr â€“ Chicago – Double Door
26-Apr â€“ Madison – High Noon Saloon
27-Apr â€“ Minneapolis – Varsity Theater
29-Apr â€“ Denver – Larimer Lounge
2-May â€“ Seattle – Neumo’s
3-May â€“ Vancouver – Plaza Club
4-May â€“ Portland – Doug Fir Lounge
6-May – San Francisco – Bottom Of The Hill
8-May – Los Angeles – Roxy Theatre
9-May – Los Angeles – Roxy Theatre
11-May â€“ Dallas – Cambridge Room/HOB
12-May â€“ Austin – The Parish
13-May â€“ Houston – The Engine Room
14-May – New Orleans – One Eyed Jacks
16-May â€“ Birmingham – Zydeco
17-May â€“ Atlanta – Smith’s Olde Bar
18-May â€“ Athens – 40 Watt Club
19-May â€“ Nashville – Exit/In
20-May â€“ Akron – Lime Spider
21-May – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
23-May – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
25-May â€“ Toronto – Mod Club