Friday, December 4, 2015
Johnson Hall, Gardiner, Maine
It was a really busy Friday night in Gardiner because a lot of people were in town to enjoy Gardiner ArtWalk. I peeled myself away from some of my favorite galleries (yes, we have a few in sweet Gardiner, Maine) to grab a good seat at Johnson Hall to see David Wilcox. Executive Director Mike Miclon has raved about David Wilcox’s music for a while now, but he’d never had a chance to see the North Carolina resident live. Mike discovered David Wilcox years ago on NPR during an episode of Car Talk that played David Wilcox’s tune, “Rusty Old American Dream.” Mike was hooked. He bought David’s complete musical collection and was really excited to see him live for the first time. His energy got me pumped for the show. Also, Mike had made a mix CD of music of people who are performing at Johnson Hall this season, and I kept skipping back to play David Wilcox’s “Language Of The Heart.” It’s beautiful. His live show, however, was far from it.
Every so often, you’re really excited for a show and it falls completely flat. Sometimes people are better on record, which is a big disappointment for those of us who love to see music performed live. David’s live show left a lot to be desired. He was overly effusive and a little odd during his song introductions and I had an impossible time connecting with him and enjoying his protracted stories. At least, then, I’d hoped to enjoy his songs, but I found them unappealing—to the point that I left at intermission, which I really almost never do. I would be interested to know if David Wilcox has a strong live show following and, if so, what folks who enjoy him live see in him. I sure missed it, but I’m glad I was there just in case! You never know!