Saturday, February 28, 2009

California Guitar Trio at the One World Theater

CGT is one of those groups that I will never grow tired of, particularly at a venue like the One World. Last night, I attended the late show. It marked the first time that I had sat in the balcony, where the acoustics turned out being absolutely awesome. Of course, I was right next to the sound-man.

Some elements of this show were exactly like the last show I had seen in August, 2007. Once again, they sold CDs of the soundboard mix, and were available for a meet and greet after the show.

This show featured a new set list, and they did not perform Bohemian Rhapsody or Freebird. Paul did indicate after the show, that they were ready to play Rhapsody if requested. The most interesting part of the night ended up being the special guests, 3 music students from the University of Texas Percussion Lab.

Apparently, CGT posted the arrangement scores for some of their music on their website. Three music majors from UT, learned the pieces as a Vibraphone Trio, and posted videos of a recital on You Tube. Paul said that the band was amazed when the students contacted them.

CGT decided to rehearse with the group upon arriving here in Austin, and have the 3 percussionists join them on stage. The double trios played the Marsh, and Melrose Avenue during the encore. Both numbers were very well done, and moving. Touche guys!

The highlights for me, were the Shadow Walk during Apache and the meet and greet after the show. During the show they talked a bit about their history. It seems that my path had crossed theirs 20 years, leading to this story:

Sometime last year, I stumbled across a video of Robert Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists on You Tube. It was from the 1989 - 1990 timeframe. Watching it I noticed that all 3 members of CGT and Trey Gunn were in the League at that time.

I had the good fortune to see LoCG at the Chance, in Poughkeepsie, NY around 1989 or so. The particular show featured one unusual incident. A King Crimson fan (better described as a stalker) was circulating in front of the stage singing songs from Starless and Bible Black while the LoCG was playing. Robert Fripp reached his breaking point, stopped the show and had him removed.

I asked Bert Lam if he was in the LoCG during that timeframe, and he said possibly. Once I described this incident Paul and Bert both started laughing and confirmed that they were all there that night. It was very fun sharing this 20 year old memory with the band. Although the incident was annoying, it made the show memorable for both the audience and the performers.