Date: November 17th, 2017
Band Link: https://www.carbonleaf.com/
Opening Artist: Liz Longley
It’s been about 3 years since I last saw Carbon Leaf. Crazy I know, considering they are one of my favorite bands ever. I guess having a kid will do that and the fact that your wife wants to go to the shows as well. My wife said it was okay to go without her so I jumped at the chance to see Carbon Leaf at Gramercy Theatre on 23rd st.
Before heading to the venue, my twin brother and I stopped at Madison Square Park to see the latest art installation there. It was a bunch of lights that would move in sequence so that was neat to see. We headed over to the venue, said hello to some of the guys in Carbon Leaf and sat up in the stadium seating in the back. I love Gramercy, it’s not too big and if you want to sit down for a show, you can.
Singer-songwriter Liz Longley opened up the show and had a beautiful singing voice. She was later joined by her friend Brian Dunne. She had some good stories in-between songs, some of them funny. I noticed a lot of her songs were about breakups. I don’t remember any particular songs but I liked the ones where Brian was playing with her the most. Check her music out on Spotify or see her live if she’s in your town. After Liz, Carbon Leaf was set to come on.
The band came out to The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer” and that immediately put people in a good mood.They opened up with “Changeless” and then went into “Indecision.” Both songs felt faster than what they sounded like on their albums. The band was very upbeat, sounded slightly different than the last time I saw them. Each show you see of Carbon Leaf, they do things a little differently. It seemed like older songs were represented that night with “Blue Ridge Laughing,” “American Tale,” and “November (Make Believe).” Speaking of old songs, I would love the band to break out “One Day” from their Meander album. Curious to see if they would re-work the song and update it a bit.
The band has been very cryptic but they plan on releasing new music very soon. It’s been 4 years since their last album, Constellation Prize, so they are definitely due for new music. The band has always been pioneers in trying something new or different so we’ll see what they do this time around. I did get an email from them, saying join this secret society but I’m pretty much broke right now so I couldn’t join. I hope they plan on releasing the stuff like they have been via PledgeMusic or another route that cheap fans like myself can afford. It sounds like the new stuff will be out either end of the year, or early beginning of 2018. I can’t wait to hear new music though!
Back to the show, the band played the catchy “Love Rain Down,” “Life Less Ordinary,” “Desperation Song” and the salute to the troops tune: “The War Was In Color.” I was happy to see them still doing the one mic versions of their songs because it’s always a highlight for me. They played “Comfort” and then one of my newer favorites: “Two Aging Truckers.”
Around this point, Barry told everyone to take out their phones and text a number. Whoever texted the number, would get the entire show to listen to as a download. They used to charge for that but now they are just giving it away which was pretty freakin’ awesome! Barry said “don’t worry, he won’t use the numbers for Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon mailing list.” I wish every show I saw would do something like that, which makes seeing Carbon Leaf extra special.
Towards the end of the show, they played “She’s Gone,” which has been a show highlight for me for the last few years. They played the song really fast, and got some help from Scott from Red Wanting Blue. Carbon Leaf then played “the Boxer,” which they have always started off their encores with in the past or ended their show with. They finished off the set with “Donnybrook Affair” but of course came back for one more song. “Let Your Troubles Roll By” has been the band’s go-to-song for ending their shows for years now. Scott came out to sing along with Barry again for the encore.
It was awesome to see Carbon Leaf again and hopefully I get to see them soon, this time with my wife. The band will be celebrating 25 years in 2018 so that will be a must-see tour when it happens. In the meantime, bring on that new album!
All of my photos will be on SkaPunkPhotos.com shortly, but check out some of favorites:
— Bryan Kremkau (@bryankremkau) November 19, 2017