Damien Rice at Radio City Music Hall

damien_m.jpgOne of the benefits of doing work for a non-profit is getting to go to great events and meeting people on completely different terms. (They assume you are a nice/good person because of your pro-social affiliations) This past Monday, I immediately jumped on the chance to man a table at the Damien Rice concert. Granted that manning a table is by no means a glamorous job, getting into a Damien Rice concert is always a good thing (glamour or not)

I have always had a weak spot for skinny tortured souls. Crooning and whining (in songs) feed my belief that men can be emotional, passionate love does exist and the pain and agony of heartbreak is a common feeling not something exclusive to movies, 13 year olds and myself.

As I and my colleague were setting up our table before the concert and were pleasantly chatting away, I saw two people walk down the stairs out of the corner of my eye. At this point we have already been harassed by numerous Radio City Music people (Don’t put that there, who are you? why are you here? Where’s your pass? Can you move the table? etc) So I ignored the two folks that I was sure was just going to ask us more annoying questions.

“Why are you guys down here? Its not very highly trafficked. You should be right where everyone will see you.” I turned around and faced a smallish skinny guy in jeans and a t-shirt followed by a very bewildered looking kid. The first guy extends his hand…”Hi, I’m Damien Rice.  How can we get you guys to a better spot?” (The second guy turned out to be an intern at Radio City Music Hall on the first day of his job)

That was the highlight of the evening. As I watched the concert I kept thinking to myself…I just shook that guy’s hand! The concert was great. Damien is an excellent musician. The tortured parts were full of rage, screams, loud guitars (complete with effects) and cheering men. The quiet parts were so sweet and touching I was sure all the women had moist eyes. The show was understated in production, but I think that showcases his music and talents perfectly. There was even one song that he did completely uplugged. No mics, no electrical instruments, nothing… just his acoustic guitar and his voice.

Half way through the concert, the crowd shouted…”Where’s Lisa” Lisa was apparently in Ireland recording and working on here own stuff. I did miss her vocals being there. Its a shame they had broken up before the concert. Oh well.

So he’s smaller in stature than I had imagined, he dances funny and a lot of his stories involve drinking escapades and he’s a vegetarian. Despite that he’s a superb musician has his heart in the right place. (His second to last song as Unplayed Piano, a song dedicated to the Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi) The fact that he supports good causes only add to his person. I hope he has a long, successful and inspiring career.

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