Now I’ve heard plenty of Kottke’s music before – both from friends/relatives, and on Radioparadise – but witnessing his handwork (both on the fretboard and picking) was a sight to behold. The stage was set nearly blank with a leather chair and his bare essential equipment. When he came on stage, he fumbled awkwardly with the microphone before starting, and moved right into his incredible music. The performance was peppered throughout with anecdotes ranging from snowbanks to early girlfriends and even ants with oddly-placed eyes. I found Kottke equally funny as he was musically brilliant, and his stories carried the audience from one beautiful song to the next.
The National Theater itself is a wonderful concert hall with a nice clear sound system and spot-on lighting. It was large enough to accommodate a crowd while still retaining a moderately intimate feeling (at least at ground level where my seat was located). I’d sum up the decor as a more subdued version of the Byrd Theater(yes, that’s really the official site…) – more muted colors, but equally ornate and beautiful.
I think it’s about time I finally purchase some of Kottke’s albums, and with Weird Al coming in July, it’s possible I may return to The National soon, too.