13 November 2011

Mike Doughty at House of Blues

As mentioned in the previous House of Blues post, I was in Chicago over the weekend to see Mike Doughty play his lyrically delicious musical program at the House of Blues. It's a great venue to see an artist like Mike Doughty. First of all, it's beautiful. I found out the music hall itself was modeled after the Estavovski (Stavovske divadlo) Opera House in Prague. So there's that. Then, it's fairly small. If I had to guess capacity, I'd say no more than 1,500. And since google exists, I can now tell you that capacity is 1,300.

Looking up at the box seats.

The opening act was a three piece called Moon Hooch. Two saxophones and a drummer, making some interesting and pretty cool music. They said Mike found them playing in the subway in New York and asked them if they wanted to go on a national tour. Yes and Also Yes had to be their answer, as they're currently touring with Mike. My favorite number was a dub step reminiscent song with contra bass.

Moon Hooch

Next up, of course, was the main event. The reason for a three hour each way drive from Grand Rapids, none other than Mike Doughty. He played with His Band Fantastic Band. They played a lengthy set with many of Doughty's more known songs including the current Na Na Nothing, 27 Jennifers, Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well, I Hear the Bells (contains one of my very favorite lines, "You snooze, you lose. Well I have snost and lost.") and Bustin' Up a Starbucks.

Mike Doughty

Mike Doughty and His Band Fantastic

On the drive into Chicago as I got more and more psyched to see him play, I wondered aloud if he'd be chatty with the audience. He was. Early on in the show he asked people what songs they wanted to hear. Many called out current material and others hopefully called out Soul Coughing songs. Seeing that the band broke up in the midst of tensions about the deal they'd made to equally share the rights to songs Doughty wrote, it's no surprise that he was quick to quash any hopes of hearing Soul Coughing material. He also spoke often about how his current music is available for purchase, but that it could also be ripped off online, which he actually encouraged.

Andrew "Scrap" Livingston on bass (r) and Mike Doughty.

It was such a fun show! I first heard Soul Coughing the summer of 1997 and have been a fan of Mike Doughty's voice and lyrical stylings ever since. So happy that he played Chicago and that I was able to go check him out.

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