May 19, 2009

Jars of Clay Live with a Derek Webb update

Posted in Christian Music tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:42 am by Bryant

Before I get into the Jars of Clay concert last night, I’ll give you a little update on Derek Webb’s Stockholm Syndrome project yet to be released due to a dispute with his record label.  He has sent out two messages to his fans sort of explaining the situation with the label.  I say “sort of” because he essentially says he can’t really talk about it.  He did say that the dispute is over one particular song that Derek feels passionate about that has a lot to do with race and sexuality.  That’s scarey because I do not know what Derek is going to say in the song.  He has since then reported that he will not be using his twitter account for updates and has created a new twitter account named “ssyndrome”.  He seems to be dishing out clues about something to somebody, but I haven’t figured out what is going on.  As far as I know the label trouble is real; however, I think he has turned this into a marketing opportunity to get people excited about the album’s release.  It seems to be working.  This morning when I started following ssyndrome, I was one of like 600.  Now there are over 3000.  To read the messages that he sent out to fans, go to  From what I heard him say live about the album, it is almost purely digital with the possiblity of a little bit of guitar.  He said he was bored and wanted out from what is the typical.  I bet Mute Math could identify.  On to the Jars of Clay Concert…


Seabird opened and really put on a good show.  They played about an hour and every song sounded extremely unique and original.  People around me said they reminded them of the Killers but I just didn’t hear that, mostly because the vocalist didn’t seem to enhance his voice.  I was only familiar with their song “Rescue” that was played on Pushing Daisies.  I liked it just as much as other songs I hear and don’t hate, if that makes sense.  I walked away from their set really liking their style.  Their music is piano driven and the lyrics often tell a story of faith and perseverance.   There is a decent chance I’ll buy their albums.  That’s a bigger compliment than it might read.  I only buy maybe four albums a year.  It turns out you can save more money by not spending money.  It’s crazy.  You can get a good impression of their music at Seabird’s MySpace.

20090518_0563Jars of Clay opened their set with The Long Fall Back to Earth which is a beautiful instrumental.  I won’t go into much detail of the interpretation of their songs because they do this themselves in their “Stories Behind the Songs” video below and I figure they have more authority on the songs they write than I do.    The Long Fall… is more about relationships than most Jars albums.  The song that struck me the most was called “Boys (Lesson One)” which is about fathers talking to their sons.  It’s a really great song, musically and lyrically.  It is in the style of earlier Jars.  You can hear this song and the rest of their 14 songs on the album here on their MySpace.

Their set list included most if not all of their new album with maybe 6 to 10 older songs.  The great thing about Jars live is that they sound just the same if not better than they do on their albums.  “Two Hands” sounded much better live when it sounded pretty great on the radio already.  It was incredible how tight they sounded together.  Obviously they are all really talented musicians that can play multiple instruments and harmonize really well together.  The picture here has lead singer Dan Haseltine playing the melodica for reasons beyond my understanding.  The band of four are accompanied by a traveling bassist and drummer who played all but the last song with them.  My only complaint about the concert was Dan’s dancing/marching during the concert.  It was just distracting and seemed quite unnatural and at times unneccessary.  Dan likes to try to express the song as he is singing it which kind of ruins his image on stage, you know… his stage presence.  Granted King David danced in the streets in 2nd Samuel 6:22 (I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes).  So I get that, but… just see for yourselves.   He seems to be going for a Bono presense… and at times Chris Martin, but it just doesn’t seem to be consistent with the rest of the band.  His vocals at the concert were awesome.  His dancing was not.  I didn’t expect his dancing to be awesome, but I just didn’t expect him to dance.


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