Monday, December 19, 2005

Henning opens show for Jane Siberry

"Hello. Are you Henning, H.E.N.N.I.N.G?"

"Yes, I am."

"Hi, I'm Jane."

And so I met Jane Siberry. I was on the stage at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Massachusetts doing a sound-check for the upcoming show. Dan Richardson was at the sound-board, the waitstaff was pulling chairs down off tables and stacking menus, and a long line of people waiting had already formed outside in the cold.

Lesa, Ken, and I shared a table and my brothers, Alvin and Norbert, made a surprise visit. It was those guys who introduced me to the music of Jane in the first place, and through one strange way or another, I had seen one other Jane show with Alvin and two others with Norb.

The Iron Horse filled up fast. Real fast. It was a very positive crowd, mostly folks in their mid to late 30's and 40's. A few kids. I mean kids, like little kids.

I took the stage promptly at 7:00 and played 7 songs. Looks Like I'm Tall, Day Job, Held His Gaze, One Lady Dancing, Waiting For Life, Disgruntled Lover, and Omnivore. I had planned to play Remind Yourself (which perhaps only Tony really knows) since it is my most Jane Siberry influenced song but I think it would have been too many slow songs, so I did Disgruntled instead.

The crowd was great. They listened, they laughed. They were on my side from the beginning. Thanks, crowd.

Even though I was on the stage for almost a half hour, it felt like about five minutes. That's when you know you are having a good time, right? When time dissapears? Yes, I think so.

After my set a number of folks came up to me to with complimentary thanks.

Jane took the stage a while later and stayed there for almost an hour and a half. There was no down-time at all in her performance, when she wasn't singing, she was speaking. She played electric guitar, piano, acoustic guitar and had some piped in music and sound effects at times.

She balances this line between spirituality and reality. Just when she's got you in the clouds, just before your cynicism can kick in, she'll bring you back to earth with some little crack or facial expression. An excellent performer.

I don't think she had any water on stage.

After the show, she had told me she wanted to give me one of her tour EPs but it turns out that she had sold out. So, she told everyone that she would come back with more the next day at noon if anyone wanted any. She also mentioned to me that she might send the Iron Horse a "gift" of some housewares for their green-room (which is notoriously not nearly as nice as you would think it should be).

The next day at noon I picked up a disc from her, and I had given her a copy of The New You. She told me she liked the artwork but hadn't listen to it yet, but that she would.

Later that night, some friends of mine who work at the Iron Horse told me that Jane had presented the club with some new mirrors, and ironing board, a space heater, and some other stuff for their dressing room.

It doesn't really take so much to make things a little better does it?

PS. Once again a special thanks to the Iron Horse Entertaiment Group for setting me up with such a great opportunity. What a great town this is.

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