Saturday, August 09, 2008


Zooey Deschanel and Matt Ward put on a great show at the Barrymore last night, but this is the second show I've been to at this venue where a singer with a phenomenal voice was lost in the instrumentals because the sound man couldn't find the right balance. I'm sure the rest of the band's talented, but why even bother to give Zooey a microphone if you're not going to let us hear her?

The same thing happened when Suzanne Vega came to town. When she sang a capella or accompanied herself on acoustic guitar the show was magical, but when the rest of the band came out the sound man cranked up the volume until Suzanne's voice was so distant she might as well have been in Chicago.

And I'm not necessarily blaming the Barrymore. For all I know, the bands bring their own sound engineers. The Leo Kottke / Leon Redbone show was possibly the most enjoyable concert experience I've ever had, so I know it can be done. To the other guys: Louder is not better.

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