Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DIGNITY on stage, above all else...

OK. I understand showmanship.

It's "all part of the act."

It demonstrates a side of the performer not quite perceived at first.

A well-rounded person has many aspects.

Performers "do what hits them" at the moment.

Unconventional often is entertaining.

All of this describes St. Paul and the Broken Bones..

He opened on a darkened stage and a spotlight showed him wearing a priestly cape.

The rest of the soul-searing sextet were arrayed behind him in this very dramatic start to a curious evening

There were songs from Paul Janeway's first album Half Of The City and the newest SEA OF NOISE.

But, I was waiting for the Zany to start.

I first saw St. Paul at the relatively small club The Pour House,  just a few years after they had formed in 2011.

Impressed by the raw energy of this smiling/grinning young version of James Brown, I enjoyed the Southern-fried Soul and Gospel-soaked goodness of his vocals.

I planned to keep an eye on this guy.

Next thing I knew he was opening for the Rolling Stones in Atlanta!

I was there in the audience and saw how well-received he was as he reminded the huge crowd they were from Birmingham, Alabama.

I also enjoyed Mick and the Stones.

This was night number two at the sold out Charleston Music Hall.

Previously I had seen him there and he threw his shoes into the aisle and crawled on his hands and knees to retrieve them. Then, he walked atop arm rests back to the stage.

That was quirky.

This night he threw one gold shoe back over his shoulder, dropped to
his knees and crawled backward under the draped space beneath the drummer's riser.

There he found a stash of fresh fruit and a red apple shot out toward the front of the stage.

That was followed by a yellow banana that he peeled as he emerged, taking a bite and squishing the rest in his hand.

Messy!

He was already prone as he crawled out, so no chance of slipping on the peel.

It was dangling from his hand as he dragged his right knee through the mushy mess.

A lady in the audience offered him a t-shirt to clean his slippery hands and face as he began to sing again.

(Frankly, I don't recall if he was singing during the previous backward crawl and fruit-tossing action.The visuals filled my consciousness.)

He finished the show and came out for an encore

"I won't sing one song...I'll do FOUR," he announced.

The crowd had stood for most of the show and applauded his intent to give a little bit more of his shake and sweat evening.

No other fruit was introduced and Paul joked that some crew or band members had surprised him with the fruit when he did his crawl.

I had kept my camera ready for any more surprises.

And I was rewarded when he finished his last song, stooped down and started ripping up the gold-colored carpet that had been taped down before the show started.

He thanked us for coming as he fashioned a "cape" and wrapped it around him as he exited stage right to an appreciative -though startled - crowd.

I am so glad there were no restrictions on photography that night!

(Click on the images and links for more details.)

The CMH has exploded with hundreds of shows the last few years under the guidance of Executive Director Charles Carmody.

Thanks, Charles, this evening had a lot of a peell

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