I had a chance to not only interview, but also catch Melissa Ferrick live twice last week. She’s doing a solo tour in support of her new album, Goodbye Youth, which officially dropped on 9/10 at her Bowery Ballroom show (also available today on iTunes).
The set is divided into two parts: Melissa plays the new album in its entirety, then there’s a brief intermission in which she changes her clothes and a bass drum is added to the stage, and she comes back out to play some older stuff. One of the highlights of the album, for me, is “When Thom Sings (Lake Effect Snow),” which she forgot to play at the Bowery show. She made up for it in Philly, though–it’s just as beautiful live as it is on the record, which makes perfect sense since the whole thing was a solo effort. Other noteworthy new pieces: “Getting Over You,” “John’s Field,” and her cover of Bush‘s hit, “Glycerine.”
During the second, shorter portion of the show, she heeds audience requests, but take note: no screaming out requests before she returns to the stage. She definitely seemed a bit irritated in Philly when fans screamed out “Freedom” more than once during the first half. She was totally justified in that, since she explained exactly how things were going to work the moment she set foot on the stage. She did, however, oblige when the time came.
New York fans got to see her do “Welcome to My Life” and “Drive,” which was fun, but by no means the best I’ve ever seen it. She once did a version of the song somewhere in Florida where she told the story of its origin that was easily ten minutes long. Philly got “Anything Anywhere,” a song I could listen to over and over again without tiring.
My only disappointment, aside from the subtle notes of hostility found in the Philly crowd, was the absence of Ferrick classics like “‘Till You’re Dead” and “Will You be the One.” All in all, though, a good time with some really good music.
Oh, and while she only opened for Melissa in Boston and Philly, give Nova Scotia native Rose Cousins a listen (I recommend “Dance if You Want To”). She hasn’t made a huge name for herself here in the States yet, but she will. Her voice and her lyrics are beautiful, and she’s funny as hell. She tours a lot, usually in conjunction with Edie Carey, who was also introduced to me years ago by Melissa. Keep your eyes open for her.