Trip: The trip to Milwaukee from Woodstock was pretty quick, maybe a little over an hour. No traffic problems. Ate some Fazoli's on the way, which we used to eat a lot when first married. We didn't have time for a sit down meal. The route was awful both ways, in that there was a lot of construction. Both directions I got us lost because a part of the route was blocked. Ugh.
Venue: The Pabst Theater is a great place. It's both a theater (gorgeous) and a bar (Pabst, duh). They let you bring drinks into the theater. Made for a lot of people drinking a lot of bad beer during the concert. And of course the cheapest drink was Pabst Blue Ribbon. The cruelty! The sound quality in Pabst was great and you never felt too far from the stage. We didn't have to worry about that in the seventh row. All tickets were general seating so we got to choose where to sit. A half hour early was enough to get a seat almost anywhere.
The asked for no photography or video, so I obliged. Wish I could have provided something for you, but
Damien Jurado: The band included Damien (who has a large, block shaped melon) along with Eric Fisher and Jenna Conrad. They all swapped some of their instruments during the concert. At some point they all played the drums. Really enjoyed most of the music, especially the harmony with Jenna. Beautiful stuff. At one point they played 5-6 fantastic songs in a row. I checked out Jurado's stuff months ago but don't remember any of it. I'll be sure to check out more of their stuff now that I've been properly introduced. Check out Damien Jurado's MySpace.
Here's a video for "Lion Tamer"...
Okkervil River: They opened with 5 songs that just flat-out rocked. Tons of energy. Will Sheff (singer) was like a wet noodle moving around the stage. Jurado's music is more subdued, and so went the crowd. Nothing wrong with that, and actually that's my favorite kind of music. But Okkervil set the place on fire with their opening songs. Loved it. Then they finally stopped to breathe and say something to the crowd, very briefly, only to move on to one of my favorite (more subdued) songs from their new album (The Stage Names) "A Girl in Port." They played most of the songs from The Stage Names and a small handful from other albums.
Though there wasn't a song I didn't enjoy, my favorite of the night was "For Real" from Black Sheep Boy. Here's their official video and a live version that shows you what they are like in concert...
One of the things I was looking forward to at the concert was seeing Jonathan Meiburg, who played keyboard and some guitar. Meiburg's band Shearwater (where Sheff is also involved) was on my radar before Okkervil. Meiburg gave a great stage performance that didn't overshadow Sheff but showed his crucial place in the band. I would not hesitate to see Okkervil again. It was a great night with a hot woman and a couple of hot bands. Hard to beat that.