Son Volt got off to a tentative start – Jay Farrar shook his head a couple of times as he was playing guitar, as if he wasn’t pleased with something… But maybe that’s just the way he is. The first half of the show was mostly songs from last year’s album Okemah and the Riot of Melody. It’s a good record, though of course, you sensed the audience really wanted to hear the old stuff. Among the newer songs, “Bandages & Scars” and “Who” sounded especially good. A new song from the album Son Volt has just recorded didn’t leave much of an impression on me either way.
The old stuff finally came as the concert came to a end, with some of the songs from Trace, including “Drown,” “Windfall” and “Tear Stained Eye.” The first encore ended with a lively cover of the Kink’s “I’m Not Like Everybody Else.” (Too bad that song has become known lately as the soundtrack of an IBM commercial, but I won’t let that ruin it for me – it’s a classic, and it was cool recently to see Ray Davies open his concert at the Vic with it.)
I thought that might be the end of the concert, but the band came back for one more song: “Chickamauga,” originally played by Farrar’s previous band, Uncle Tupelo. We got the best guitar solo of the night as Farrar stretched “Chickamauga” out into a rocking jam – ending with a psychedelic squelching of feedback after the band had left the stage.