So I was the lucky lucky winner of the tickets to see Steve Poltz (Thanks DCF and thanks Neal Copperman (copperman, copperman, copperman, copper man n n n n n...) of AMP Concerts) last night (November 24) and man oh man am I glad I went. I had not laughed so hard in so very long....
I wish I had taken along a notepad so that I could write a better review, instead, I'll have to wing it.
Being from San Diego, I'd seen Steve Poltz perform before: several times with The Rugburns (Casbah, Belly Up Tavern, Adams Avenue Music Fest), and with Jewel both at the Inner Change coffee house and at the Rimac Arena at the University of California at San Diego. Bottom line is that I knew he was talented, and a fantastic songwriter and guitar player. What I didn't realize is what a great storyteller he is and how damn funny the show would be!
Most of my grad school brethren had left the city to spend Thanksgiving with their families, so I invited Merimee (my friend and co-host of Duke City DimeStories, a monthly open mic for prose-- gotta get that shameless plug in!). She'd never heard of Steve Poltz, and we were both tired so I promised her we wouldn't have to stay for the whole show. But both of us were glued to our front row seats, and didn't even THINK of leaving! And Merimee was even selected by Steve for an "intimate" slow dance (Steve's second selection was a young man, another good sport also in the front row).
Steve's probably most known for the fact that he co-wrote "You Were Meant for Me" with Jewel... a fact that he utilizes for some pretty good self-depracating schtick (how easy it was to spend the money, how everyone started calling, how he almost wrote a song for David Cassidy).
From the moment he got onto stage-- or should I say JUMPED onto the stage, to the last song, I was either mesmerized by the music, or laughing hysterically, in a my-face-still-hurts-from-smiling kind of way. The energy level was contagious, not to mention inspiring ! (dude is a couple years older than me!).
His songs ranged from the sweet and romantic like "Everything About You" (from the soundtrack of the movie Notting Hill
To the super wacky Sweeny-Todd-like song "Sewing Machine"
He played a few new tracks and made impressive use of his iPhone, at one point dropping in the piano track played by A.J. Croce (as seen in the above video) at another point playing some poems his 80 year old dad Joe Poltz wrote and recorded on Garage Band.... he even pulled up the lyrics to a song he had just written about Albuquerque (rhymes with turkey-- cheesy but funny). Then let the iPhone "sing" the song...