A Night of Unexpected Disco Balls and Powerful Pipes : A review of the Joe Pug show at the Crocodile

As I sat waiting for the show to begin, I really had no idea what I had gotten myself into.  The crowd waiting for the Field Report solo project and Joe Pug was the most eclectic group of people I have seen in a while, and I was anxiously awaiting what kind of live experience would bring so many different people together.

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Before I begin, time for a NOEL PSA UPDATE: when a performer is sharing their talent with you, especially when it is a heartfelt song that obviously means a lot to them, STOP TALKING.  I have never in all my years of concert-going experienced such a rude and disrespectful crowd as this.  Sure they clapped at the end and seemed to be listening to the songs, but the murmur of the crowd even overpowered the artists at times.  NOT COOL.

Well now that that’s taken care of and I’ve used my quota of all caps, let’s move on to the good stuff.

Chris Porterfield of Field Report was up first and blew me away.  He has that kind of voice that makes any of us who sing extremely jealous, exploding out of him with deep emotion while looking like he isn’t even trying.  I could only dream of making things seem that easy.  The simplicity of the set allowed me to focus on the stories he was telling through his lyrics, and they were equally moving.  Seriously, if you haven’t already checked Field Report out, DO IT NOW.  Here’s my favorite song to make it easier for you.

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And now for the Pug.  This dude is seriously the whole package.  He’s got a great voice, plays a mean harmonica, does a solid job on the guitar, was hilarious during those awkward moments between songs, and just seems like someone you could never be mad at.  He balanced the reminiscent Neil Young/Bob Dylan style with a more contemporary indie/folk sound in a way that would explain the diversity within the crowd.  The sound appeals to so many musical tastes, and with an artist as nice as Joe Pug it’s hard to deny any love you may have for the music.  Finally, with his incredibly talented band, the sound was full and the solos were captivating.

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One last comment about this show, the lighting was fantastic.  Apart from one unexpected disco ball lighting that Joe Pug had to kindly stop, the colors complemented the tone and mood of each song perfectly.  To whoever coordinated that lights, my hat is off to you.

Each artist was a delight to watch and left me with no regrets about trying out a new, to me, genre.  You’re looking at (or more accurately reading from) a new fan.


Noel Chapman

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