Punch Brothers

Thoughts on Shows
by Todd Harrington

The Scene: The MET
Pawtucket, RI - 10/3/12
It has been quite the year for these Brooklyn, NY, bluegrass players. Elton John sang their praises in Rolling Stone.  T. Bone Burnett called Punch Brothers, "One of the most incredible bands this country has produced.” In recent weeks, member Chris Thile was awarded a half million dollar grant from the MacArthur Foundation (... "Known colloquially as genius grants, the MacArthur Fellowships, given annually, are meant to provide recipients with the freedom to pursue creative activities and ambitious projects unburdened by financial concerns." WSJ story) In other words, these are the salad days..

With all that praise, hard work and good fortune, Punch Brothers took to the Met Cafe stage. Touring in support of their third full length release “Who's Feeling Young Now” (Nonesuch) the evening began with “Movement and Location” the first track off the album.

 Members Gabe Witcher (fiddle) was to the far left, Chris Eldridge(guitar), in the middle was Thile, tucked a little back was double bassist Paul Kowert and over to the right banjo master Noam Pikelny. The gentlemen were dressed in shirts and ties (Witcher went the route of a buttoned up vest) but their clean appearance was not the focal point.  The crowd was fully engaged in the 90 minute, 19 song set.

Thile is a joy to listen to speak. He is genuinely happy to be playing for anyone that will listen and his smile was infections all evening.  The first cover of the evening followed when the band played “Another New World” a song by Josh Ritter. Thile said he “wished” they wrote the song. Thile, in a genuine gesture then decided to do “something rare...and take an audience request”. As you'd imagine this was met with loud shouts from all over the room. The band decided to tackle “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” (the White Stripes).

They wrapped it up with “The Moonshiner” an all out foot stomping, floor shaking romp. Each member really had a chance to go off, stepping forward and, simply, crushing it. Thile is so accomplished, and quick with his fingers it is just dizzying. With that, it wrapped up and the venue rose as one to cheer them on once more. Sent in to the cool October night it was easy to hear “wow” and “amazing” come off dozens of lips in the exiting crowd.

VERDICT: An Excellent Show!

Movement and Location
Next to the Trash
Flippin (The Flip)
Don't Get Married Without Me
Another New World (Josh Ritter cover)
Brakeman's Blues (Jimmie Rodgers cover)
Hundred Dollars
Kid A (Radiohead cover)
Wayside (Back in Time)
This Girl
It'll Happen
Watch'At Breakdown
Rye Whiskey
Patchwork Girlfriend
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (White Stripes cover)
The Moonshiner

Album / Web / Fb / Tw


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