Badly Drawn Boy
Philadelphia, PA March 3, 2007
by Brittany Sturges
I went into this concert fairly naive, not knowing any of Badly Drawn Boy's material. Something told me to just go into this show, with the best of intentions, not knowing a single thing.
It was quite a beautiful night in Philadelphia for March, and by the time my friend Mike and I got to the TLA, there was a nice crowd of people waiting to get inside. Once we got our tickets and walked in, the opening act, Adem, was already a song or two into his set. The crowd was already packed into the TLA, something quite surprising. People sipped beers, chatting with one another, as Adem quickly finished his half-hour set.
During the break, I noticed the long line at the bar and the chatter coming from the drinkers. Instead of feeling like an actual show,I felt like we were in some dingy bar setting with some live music to serve simply as background noise. At 10 p.m., Badly Drawn Boy took the stage, much to the audience's delight.
The songs weren't bad -- a bit mellow for my liking -- but certainly not bad. However, I felt like the TLA was a bit of a bad venue match-up. The music seemed out of place and a bit more appropriate for a coffee-shop type of set-up... or at least somewhere with seats. Another perplexing thing was the audience; they seemed every bit excited when a new song began, but there was hardly any singing along. The only movement was the constant swaying of all the couples -- apparently it was bring-a-significant-other night, and I missed that memo.
Damon Gough's voice, however, was a bit charming, the songs likewise. As he switched between the piano and guitar, he started up delightful small talk with the audience, eventually adding in some political commentary that had the audience screaming in agreement.
By 11 p.m. I decided to call it a night. The show had been mediocre; nothing about it stood out in such a way to make it the best or worst show ever. If anything, it felt more like a show with a no-name band stuck in a smoke-filled bar with people clustered in corners. If I want more Badly Drawn Boy, I'll just get a CD for a better experience.