Philly has David’s heart but NYC has David for two nights. Unfortunately the shows were not sold out, which is a huge shame. And the sets are too short. But then I could listen to David all night.
I’d forgotten how small Rockwood Music Hall’s second stage is. The room is very intimate. And this time there were tables around the stage because there were not enough people to fill up the room.
The show was scheduled to start at 7:00pm and very soon after seven, Bess Rogers took the stage. I was thrilled because (1) I didn’t know David was going to have an opener; and (2) Bess Rogers! She was playing guitar and singing with another female singer, a male bassist, and a drummer. Another woman joined them for guitar on one song. “Math and Science” was the second song she played. There were false starts and jokes about her birthday. There was a Gin Blossoms cover (“Found Out About You”) played even more melancholy than the original. Bess played a new song that sounded kind of Okkervil River to me and then rtb leaned over and said it was very Ingrid-y, which was also true. How a song sounds like Ingrid Michaelson and Will Sheff, I have no idea.
David Ford came out and set-up all his equipment. Besides the grand piano already on the stage, he had keyboards, percussion instruments, his second mic for looping, and electric and acoustic guitars. This night was going to be solo David so there would be looping in several songs. There was very little talking and normally I’d prefer to hear him talk because he is very funny (and there were some funny lines from the stage) but his set was so short that I liked that it was mostly all music.
He came out strong with “Nothing At All” and the rest of the set was high-intensity pure David. Before he sang “I’m Alright Now,” he told that he got a call from a famous French singer, Johnny Hallyday, who wanted to learn the song in English. Hallyday’s favorite English singer is David. Since David is not a vocal coach there were some difficulties because of the French pronunciation of “r” – twied and twue.
Not all the songs were looped. There were beautiful single instrument renditions of “Song for the Road” (sung with his friend Emily who will open the show on night two) and “Hurricane.” And this night the song that filled the middle of “Decimate” was “American Girl.” Twice in one week. There must be a Tom Petty revival happening.
It was still light outside when we left the club.
By Carene Lydia Lopez