An Elizabeth Elmore house concert

Last night I trekked up to Wakefield, MA, where my friend Jeff was having a house concert with Elizabeth Elmore. In case you haven’t heard of Elizabeth, she was once in a great rock band called Sarge, and now fronts The Reputation (described in the Village Voice as “shimmering early-90′s indie rock glimmer reminiscent of Swervedriver and Sugar; nice sugary hooks, crunchy, rockin’ guitars; and sassy boy-done-me-wrong again vocals….”). I’m a big fan of both bands, so I was really looking forward to seeing Elizabeth do a solo show in the casual setting of Jeff’s living room.

The reason the show, which was sort of a last-minute thing, happened was that Elizabeth wanted to take a roadtrip from Chicago and head east to visit some friends. Fortunately for her fans, she decided to play a few house concerts to help cover gas money.

Anyway, I showed up at Jeff’s around 7:30, as Elizabeth was supposed to be starting at 8:00 (she had plans with local friends for later in the evening). I was quickly informed that Elizabeth had called at 5:30 to say that she was stuck in traffic in Stamford, CT, which is a pretty long haul from Wakefield, but she was still determined to make it. So, we waited, and more people showed up, many of them from The Reputation Yahoo! group. Soon there were about 15 people gathered, and it was more like a small party than a concert. Elizabeth pulled into the driveway at about quarter of 9, having driven fast and not stopped for food on the way. She’s an damned cool person, and she chatted with everyone as she got her stuff set up and attempted to make a beer and some chips seem like dinner.

The concert itself was pretty fun, and Elizabeth, after telling us that she’d intended to get there earlier so she could learn some more of her songs, played three songs and then started taking requests. In the end she did a whole bunch of Sarge songs (mostly off The Glass Intact), a few Reputation songs, and some covers. She had a lot of trouble tuning her electric guitar (though the acoustic sounded fine), she forgot the words in a few places, and some of the songs didn’t do quite as well solo as they do with a band, but it was still an excellent evening. It was more like having a friend come over and just play a few tunes than an actual concert, but that relaxed atmosphere is one of the main reasons I like house concerts so much.

After the show there was some more chatting, and the requisite buying of merch (I picked up a Reputation t-shirt for myself, and one for Jenn too), before we helped Elizabeth load her stuff into her borrowed car. All in all, it was an excellent way to spend a Monday evening, even if I didn’t get home ’til nearly 1am.

Oh, and hopefully I’ll be able to update and add a link to a few pictures of the show (taken by Jeff) before too long.

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