I could explain how awesome this night was, but I think this beard speaks for itself.
It’s a custom-made piece by Emily Comeau — named the Smirkin’ Merkin — and a prototype for Jesse’s merch. As a person who’s never even come close to having a beard, I wanted to keep it SO BADLY even though it was brown and didn’t match the curtains (or the carpet, for that matter). I wore it for the first song I played, but it got way too warm to keep on in a house full of people.
One of the openers was Catriona Sutton, who won everyone over with her charming songs and clever lyrics. She used to be in the band Plumtree, whose indie hit inspired the naming of the Scott Pilgrim comic, now made into a major Hollywood movie (Michael Cera is wearing a Plumtree T‑shirt when he does the knockout punch shown in the trailer).
Jesse’s song No Brainer demonstrates exactly how good he is with arrangements. His album is usually bass driven, but for live performances he plays guitar over Nic’s beatboxing (with some harmonica thrown in), and Audra on clarinet. Audra also had a small part rapping at the end of No Brainer, and it was awesome; she’s a natural. Nic’s also got a new little box which drops anything he sings an octave lower, so he can do real bass lines.
I played ukulele for four songs so Jesse could play other instruments like glockenspiel or the wind organ on Make Hymn Cry. I was a little nervous at first, but eventually I forgot everyone was there. My cheap laminate soprano ukulele doesn’t project sound very well, so I had to strum so hard I was afraid of breaking a string or enlarging the crack that’s already developed at the bridge.
At one point during the last track Jesse all of a sudden said, “UKULELE SOLO”, and I tried making a silly picking pattern based on the chords of the song. I don’t think anyone heard what I was doing over all the other instruments though, which worked in my favour really.
It was such an amazing night that I’ve decided to quit my job and sing and play ukulele full-time. Well, maybe not yet, but SOON.