David Ford: The Rock Shop 14 May 2011

My third night in a row seeing David Ford and I was feeling a little stalkery but I saw people there who had also been to all three shows so that made me feel a bit better. This time it was just rtb and me – violaleeblue was supposed to come but had to cancel because of more important commitments.

This was my first time at The Rock Shop – it’s located in the same general area as the Bell House and they share a booker so I was expecting it to have good sound and a good staff and I wasn’t disappointed. Upstairs is a bar, roof deck, and a restaurant. Street level is a long bar and then the tiniest of rooms with a stage and some benches on the side. The stage is high so I could see everything despite the couple in front of me talking and kissing through much of the show. We got there early (in fact rtb and I were on the same train but didn’t know it until we got off) and sat upstairs.

The opening act, John Lefler, was at the bar and talking with some of the people who had been at the show the night before. He seems just as upbeat in person as he does on stage. When we got downstairs we were able to sit on the benches. The floor was empty and didn’t fill up much while he was on. But he put on a great show, similar to what he’d done the night before. He did play a new song – it was his first time performing it. His brother had provided a drum track via email. I’ve heard of Dashboard Confessional but haven’t heard them and listening to Lefler has piqued my interest and I’m definitely going to check out their work also.

The room did fill up when David Ford took the stage but it still wasn’t filled to capacity. He started at the looping mic for “Nothing at All” and the engineer hadn’t brought up the sound on any of the mics, so David shook the box and the small shaker and just shouted out the song and when he was done he threw both over his shoulders and I’m pretty sure the big box caught a piece of the side of his face as it flew back. It looked like he winced but that was the only indication that he might have hurt himself. He did some of the same songs as before but did mix it up a little by performing “Requiem” and “St. Peter.” There was another technical difficulty with the keyboard for “State of the Union” but he worked around it brilliantly and if it hadn’t fucked up itself on the first try we would never have known there was a problem.

Frances Law joined him again and I forgot to mention that she was also at Le Poisson Rouge. As before, her voice sounded nice doing back-up but it didn’t seem to add a lot but it didn’t detract either. This time she sang “Jolene” with David on back-up and I got to hear what a very beautiful and truthful voice she has.

As always there were moments when he allowed the audience to take him to stream of consciousness places. This time it was the Rapture on May 21st and he’ll be in Asbury Park so if there is a Rapture that day he will stand next to Springsteen because if anyone is going to heaven, the Boss is. “Hell Yeah” came up at some point and he decided that after “I Don’t Care What You Call Me” (a lovely ballad) we should all yell out “Hell Yeah!” instead of applauding, which we did.

This was another early show with a short set and no encore. That’s a big disappointment because I could truly listen to David for hours and hours.

Set List

  • Nothing At All
  • Panic
  • Waiting for the Storm
  • Requiem
  • She’s Not the One
  • Train
  • I Don’t Care What You Call Me
  • Jolene
  • Go to Hell
  • St. Peter
  • Liverpool
  • State of the Union
  • By Carene Lydia Lopez