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.

This is by far one of the best shows I've seen in a long time (and with all due respect to both David Byrne (who I believe is a musical artistic genius) and Adam Lambert both of whom I have seen here in Albuquerque, THIS was the best show I've seen here)

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...

I'll just sum it up by saying, Steve Poltz is one of the most talented singer songwriter on the planet, and puts on one helluva show. If you EVER get a chance to see him GO! It'll be worth your money and worth your time (I'm still laughing!). And if you have a little extra coin, buy his new album (yes, album, it is available on vinyl AND CD, iTunes, etc...

Views: 36

Comment by JeSais on November 24, 2010 at 10:19pm
PS: the Low Spirits Bar and Stage is a nice venue. Small, intimate, reasonably priced beer, clean bathrooms... you really can't ask for much more!
Comment by Dee Cohen on November 25, 2010 at 4:58pm
Thanks for sharing this entertaining and enlightening review.
I feel like I won front row seats too, without having to go outside in the cold cold night.
Comment by neal copperman on November 26, 2010 at 12:37am
I wonder if we were at some of the same shows in San Diego? I saw the Rugburns at The Casbah and a bunch of Jewel shows at the Inner Change (and she only played there for about 2 years). In fact, I (ahem) taped many of those shows and old, lo-fi recordings have trickled out around the net. Here's a pretty funny one of Jewel and Steve that was never recorded:
Comment by JeSais on November 26, 2010 at 10:19am
I may (ahem) own some of those recordings.... and a pre-record deal cassette tape with My Own Private God's Gift... I was only sporadically at those shows at the Inner Change, maybe at about five-- I was living in Chicago at the time, but coming home to San Diego fairly frequently. Probably we crossed paths. And I love that song! hahaha...
Comment by neal copperman on November 26, 2010 at 10:25am
Cool! Those recordings were pretty broadly distributed by the early Jewel fan club, so there are lots of versions out there. Glad you have enjoyed them! And thanks for the fun review of Steve's show.


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