I had the kids to myself for Thursday and Friday while Sue was off to Vancouver to take a test. The plan was for me to bring the kids to Vancouver Friday after work, then we would visit with some friends over the weekend.
Then my friend Erin pointed out that Jeff Martin was playing in Vancouver Friday night. Plans were made, and somehow I managed to get downtown and met up with Erin in front of the club. We got in and grabbed a seat to wait for the show to begin.
The show started off with a bang. The band opened with the title track (The Ground Cries Out) from the new CD. Sounded great. On the second song I started to notice that Jeff Martin’s voice sounded different than the album that was just released days earlier.
Another song later he announced his voice was a little under the weather. That explained what I was noticing.
They played quite a few songs from the new disc, and it was fantastic to hear them live.
They also played Cathartik (I think?), a Tea Party song, and they segue’d into a Nine Inch Nails song.
Sure enough though, after mentioning his voice, it started to go downhill quickly. A few more songs and his voice was done. He couldn’t even sing any more. He spoke his way through one soft song, and they took a quick break. He had something to drink, and tried to resume. You could see the frustration in his face, and he apologized a few times.
At one point he said fuck it, and started belting out the next few songs forcing them to happen. I can’t imagine how that would have felt. During one pause between songs he said very nicely “Could someone please bring me a Jack Daniels on the rocks”.
At the end of their set, they exited the stage, and the club brought up the house music. Pretty evident there would be no encore. I was hoping they would come back out and just play some of their songs without singing, or even just get out there and jam. Alas it wasn’t to be. We waited a few minutes, then grabbed our jackets and left. Outside we could see the band in an anteroom talking and looking rather upset. There were a few of us watching, and just as Erin and I were about to go, someone poked their head out and said something that sounded like “he’s coming back out”.
We went back inside, but the guitar tech was packing everything up, and the house music was still on. We waited a couple minutes in case, but in the end we did not hear any encore.
The show we did see was good though. Jeff Martin is an amazing guitar played, and I could watch him for days on end. Magical really.
Overall I enjoyed the concert, but I left disappointed. I felt bad for Jeff since it really looked like he was upset. I don’t know if he would have had it in him to keep playing and not sing. He was supposed to play the next night in Duncan, but I am guessing that didn’t happen. His tour schedule was pretty aggressive, with him playing every day or two. Hopefully he can recover quickly and not have to cancel too many stops.