Patty Griffin – Boulder Theater, CO

The Boulder Theatre only holds 870 people when it’s a fully seated show, so as a result tickets were hard to get. We picked up our tickets at Will Call and headed inside. We were lucky and got two seats on the front row of the balcony. We sat down and waited.

We sat and waited and waited some more. At 8:00 the opening act, Leslie H came on. She was a great guitar player and a really good show although her songs were a little bit long. She was from Athens, GA.

Anyways, about 9:00, Greg Brown from KCUV came out and did a little blurb about the radio station and then about 9:10, Patty hopped out on stage. She had a green dress (it looked tan under the stage lights, but it was green), a thick belt, and cute little shoes, about 1 ½ inch heels and fishnet stockings.

She opened with Forgiveness, then went straight into a new song, that was something to the effect of “said to the sky where do you want me to go?” which was actually, I Said To The Sky. At any rate, it had a great little jazzy tune that Doug played and she did a lot of off mic ad-libbing.

The next song was Love Throws A Line. She did a little leg kick where she bent her knee up and kinda flicked her leg out, a move she re-did several times. She ended with the ad-lib containing “come on love, show me love, stupidly love, all the way around the world show me love”.

Then she said how nice it was to be here in Boulder and how weird it was to have to drink water because she had been at home in Texas and it’s so humid there that you don’t have to drink water, you just go out and take a big breath and you’ve had a glass.

She’s also not used to having the dry air and there being a difference in temperature in the shade. She decided that Nashville was close contestant to New Orleans for having the most humidity in the United States and that it made Austin look high and dry.

Someone asked about the new album and she said that God willing it would be out sometime next year in the winter. The next song was another new one, Free. Then she played No Bad News complete with lots of leg stomps.

After No Bad News she went to the piano and smiled and said, “Such a pretty piano. Have to make use of it. Man I’m lucky.” She said that Craig Ross who had produced the Impossible Dream album had challenged her to write happy songs, and that they both had the same ailment of writing sad songs but she sat down and though “Happy songs, hmm that’s a stumper.” She put her finger up to her chin while she said that. Then she said “this is my first effort, sorta a captured moment I spent with my mother, it’s called Burgundy Shoes”.

The song was really more bittersweet but very beautiful. Then she hopped back up and got her guitar and said “Dougie and I haven’t been out with a full band much, Dougie and I… how would you describe it Dougie? We throw em all in a basket and pick em out as we go, Dougie never knows what I’m going to play, he’s such a good sport.”

She did Making Pies and then started Useless Desires. She first got the wrong key, and then the wrong key again. She said, “that’s the wrong key, thought it felt a little off…” then she started again and had to fix the capo and was like “sorry…: and then she forgot the words after the first few lines. She kinda sang “weekend edition has this town way over rated” to herself and then said “I tied to cut back to the last verse but I have my mind on other songs… I can’t make excuses.”

She sang a song about a bus and a driver and not knowing where they were going (Stay On The Ride).

Then she sang Be Careful.

The next song was You Won’t Matter Anymore which she described as “for all those who truly don’t have any grey hairs, that was an early Linda Ronstadt song. I sorta cut my teeth on her. She’s got some great little three-chord songs that when you’re learning to play guitar are great, when I was learning, in the LATE ’70s! She’s got a new box set out, like forty Linda Ronstadt songs, do yourself a favor.”

The next song was Moon Song.

She said she “must take a moment to tune this guitar, so that the tuning gods don’t strike me down, we’re getting pretty close. What’s going on in Boulder? This is a college town, so who’s a student just getting to put their feet up? Who’s on vacation? We had a really interesting day of traveling. You know how there are just some days where you think, that’s it the world is on it’s last legs? We were supposed to take a two hours flight that took twelve. ‘Can we just go to Denver, would that be ok?’”

Someone said that they came from Boston to see her and she laughed, “What, are you crazy??” She then kept trying to get in tune and said “Sorry, it’s the new shoes. They’re throwing me off, I don’t’ know who they are yet.” She then sang When It Don’t Come Easy.

A few people were calling out things like Cain, Sweet Lorraine and Every Little Bit but then someone yelled out “We’ll love whatever you play” and Patty was like, “I like you!”

She did Long Ride Home and then said, “We’ve been playing a bunch of stuff you haven’t heard and you’ve been great sports. This one is about Martin Luther King Jr and his last speech, it’s called Up On the Mountain.

She did Tomorrow Night and said “thought we’d start to wrap things up with some old-timey songs. Thank you so much, we’ve had a wonderful time. I came out of the dark hole of the studio to a roomful of lovely people.”

She sang Moon River and then hopped off stage. For the encores she played Moses, and went to the piano and sang a song about getting lucky one day and shooting little stars (Only Up Or Down).

Then she sang Let Him Fly with just Doug’s guitar and then thanked us again and went off.

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