Music seen, at the Avalon, May 7, 2007
I saw at least a dozen people I knew from Portland at the Amy Winehouse show at The Avalon in Boston earlier this month. Who knows how many people from Maine were there that I didn’t know. The fact that so many of us chose to drive a solid two hours with gas over $3 a gallon, on a Monday night, says something about Maine fans’ devotion to music. As I looked around the sold-out 2000-capacity club I wondered, if the State Theatre were still open, would this tour have made it to our city? It was a grim reminder of our lack of a medium-sized venue. Back to Amy Winehouse. Her ten-person band had three guitars, three horns, drums, keys, and two snappy back-up singers/dancers. They took the stage after a lengthy break post opener Patrick Wolf. As the band members took their places the audience roared. Then all five feet, 110 pounds of Winehouse waltzed out in black bra, white tank top, jeans, and a whole lot of hair and midriff. The rumor mill had prepped me for potential vomiting, slurring, and all-out drunkenness. The only time when I wondered if she had a buzz on was during her dialogue between songs. It was hard to make out if she was slurring or if her thick British accent was preventing me from understanding her. At one point the man standing next to me leaned over and asked, “Can you understand a thing she’s saying?” Other than that she was spot on. Her vocal range matched that on her record, and the variations were enough to keep you feeling like you were getting something unique to a live show. One of the best cases of this was when they went from “He Can Only Hold Her” into a cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing).” Hopefully next time Winehouse passes through the northeast we’ll have a venue that can accommodate her.
: New England Music News
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