josh ritter @ cat’s cradle, may 2013

josh ritter & the royal city band @ cat's cradle

josh ritter & the royal city band @ cat's cradle

josh ritter & the royal city band @ cat's cradle

(People searching for the setlist, I hope you come here and find it!)

I am not exactly shy about my feeling regarding Josh Ritter; it is one of my least complicated listener-artist relationships, in that flat out I love his weird ass unconditionally. I believe that rock and roll is a religion, and I believe that you should worship at the feet of Josh Ritter, who brought utter unconditional joy to stage of the Cradle last night, like he has every time I have seen him at the Cradle. It was a deeply melancholy set last night, because the new record of course is about heartbreak, but it was a joyously melancholy one. Josh talked about how his beliefs regarding marriage have changed — there was a comparison to riding a bicycle, which Josh is apparently unable to do, and that he now thinks that marriage is the greatest optimist step that “two mammals” can take — and he went on a long, bizarre, hilarious tirade about Lewis & Clark in the break during “Kathleen”. He alleged that the Cradle was built a thousand years ago. He told us that “Folk Bloodbath” was “a comedy”. He was funny, and happy, and he smiled the whole time, and the crowd loved him and he loved us back. It’s what I always want Josh Ritter shows to be: glorious.

The set feels a little stilted right now, as they try to find the places for the new songs, but the shivering opening of “Idaho” and the odd, lovely placement of “Wings” in Josh’s solo turn were both delightful surprises.

Setlist: Idado / Southern Pacifica / Rumours / Evil Eye / Hopeful / Lillian, Egypt / The Curse / Joy To You Baby / New Lover / Folk Bloodbath / The Temptation Of Adam / Change of Time / Wings / A Certain Light / Rattling Locks / Wolves / Right Moves / Kathleen // Lights / To The Dogs Or Whoever

the felice brothers @ cat's cradle

the felice brothers @ cat's cradle

The Felice Brothers opened, and while the siblings shoot beforehand fell through, they turned out to be the perfect weirdos to open for perfect weirdo Josh Ritter last night. I’ve only seen the Felices twice, both in the fall of 2010, once at Bristol on a huge stage and once at Kings a few weeks after that, and never since the latest record. Ian is such a creepy trainwreck genius, and James is the sexiest accordian player in the world, and Farley is the best thing to ever happen anywhere. They are so much fun to shoot, and such wonderful songwriters, and I need to never forget that.

Full set from last night here.

I feel a little guilty about these shots, because it was apparently a no cameras / credentials only show. Nobody told me not to shoot, though, and I didn’t see it posted anywhere, so I’m really sorry, Josh. I tried to be unobtrusive.

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