S’yeah. M. Ward is now one of two musicians that I have seen in concert twice. The other one, which I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before, is Vanessa Carlton. And actually, the second time I saw her in concert it was at the same venue. Wacky. When A Wasteland Companion was released earlier in the year, I remember thinking to myself, “it is a damn shame that we just saw M. Ward in concert last year, he probably won’t be around in the near future to let me hear these fantastic new songs live.” So when one of my people spread the news that yes, he was doing a show around here in the near future, we jumped on the opportunity. Never mind that it was going to be the evening we returned from Disneyland.
We’re insane that way.
A smaller venue than last year’s M. Ward concert, not that I’m complaining. After a Disneyland jaunt (particularly the way my people do it) a smaller crowd where actually sitting to enjoy the show took place was welcome. (Some people were standing up in front, but we were far enough back that we didn’t have difficulties seeing over them or anything.) Also, it’s a cute little venue no matter what, so.
It was a shorter set than at the last concert, too; it felt shorter, but still just as wonderful. There were plenty of numbers off A Wasteland Companion, “Clean Slate” and “I Get Ideas” and “Pure Joy” and he closed with “Primitive Girl” and. Well.
Much like how I went to Jack White only really wanting to hear “Love Interruption,” I went to this year’s M. Ward show only really wanting to hear “Me and My Shadow.” I mean, I love every M. Ward song, even the ones on albums I don’t have yet and am accordingly not super-familiar with. He played a few of those, and I grooved to them wholeheartedly, comfy in my seat and beaming, sure. But I was waiting for that one song.
I suppose I do that so I feel like I accomplish something when I hear what I came for. I don’t know. It’s a strange compulsion of sorts I’ve developed, but so far it hasn’t failed me yet. I mean, I knew I would get “Love Interruption” from Jack White. He sang it on Saturday Night Live for goodness’ sake. I’ve actually heard it on an (admittedly alternative) local radio station. I wasn’t so sure about “Me and My Shadow,” because you can’t do the radio trick with M. Ward. For some reason, probably to do with how radio stations don’t play nearly enough kick-ass music. I was not disappointed, however. Partway through the set, I did in fact get a loud and lovely “Me and My Shadow,” and I just grinned like an idiot the whole time.
I went into last year’s M. Ward concert only really wanting to hear “Never Had Nobody Like You” (hearing songs I’ve mixed with, particularly mixes I’m emotionally attached to, is a big factor, yes). I did, and I was super-pleased about it. So I was particularly pleased when I actually got it again at this concert. Perhaps even more rockin’ than last time.
Additional songs from previous albums were of course also played; “Poison Cup,” which always makes me smile (it’s a surprisingly cheery, or at least fairly upbeat, song for having the word “poison” in the title) and “Rollercoaster” and “Chinese Translation” for an encore, “For Beginners” and “Rave On” and several of the beautiful instrumental numbers I love so much.
In short, M. Ward does perfect live shows, and I will go to many more, life allowing.
–your fangirl heroine.