Saturday, November 21, 2009

zilker elementary benefit concert

last night i was lucky enough to sell merch for ben kweller at the 10th annual zilker elementary backyard concert. they have these concerts every year to raise money for the art/music department at the school. this year, it wasn't a "backyard" concert because it rained ALL day and night, so it was in the cafeteria. this year's lineup included station identification, jimmy lafave, grace london, and ben kweller.

first, let me start with how sweet and kind ben was to me. i've never sold merch before but i'm friends with his regular merch girl and she's out on tour with another band so she asked if i could help out. i was a little nervous for two reasons 1) that i was going to screw up somehow and 2) that i was going to totally geek out on ben because i've been a fan of his for soooo long. i've met the guy before but i've never spoken to him for longer than about 60 seconds. he called me as i was driving home from work and i missed the call because i had my radio turned up so loud. so now i have the most adorable voiciemail from him. haha! anyway, he was super nice throughout the entire experience.

now here's the part where i talk about what a fun and unique community they have down there near zilker elementary. my table was set up in the hall outside of the cafeteria, right by the doors to come in, so i saw pretty much everyone as they arrived. everyone knew everyone! the parents and the kids (old and young) all seemed to know each other. it just looked like a very close-knit group of parents who love to support their school and i thought it was awesome!

before ben played, a young lady (and i mean young, i heard she was only 9) named grace london played with her band. she played guitar and sang and she was unbelievable! i think everyone was blown away by her. other than a dixie chicks song and a couple of kt tunstall numbers, she played a lot of songs that i like! here are the ones i made note of during the show:

wonderwall by oasis (this was her soundcheck)
don't panic by coldplay
we're going to be friends by the white stripes
hallelujah by leonard cohen
hey jude by the beatles
sweet child o' mine by guns n roses

i wish i had been able to get some videos of her but i was shunned to the hallway. anyway, this girl is going places.

then ben played and it was great! here's his set:

wantin' her again
walk on me
undone-the sweater song (weezer cover)
sawdust man
on my way
b-i-n-g-o w/ dorian on vocals
don't know why
dusty trail
heart of gold w/ jimmy lafave (neil young cover)
have you ever seen the rain w/ jimmy lafave (ccr cover)
stand by me w/ jimmy lafave and grace london (ben e. king cover)
like a rolling stone w/jimmy lafave (bob dylan cover)

the sweater song was awesome because it made me think of the time i saw guster and he came out and played that with them. it's so fun. and since it was in an elementary school, instead of, "goddamn" ben said, "good grief" it made me laugh out loud! ben was in the middle of the last verse of "on my way" when dorian came out on stage and ben said, "yeah, i'm singing about your mama!" ben never finished that song because they turned on another mic and he and dorian sang bingo. it was adorable! i think dorian also "played" piano on "don't know why". when jimmy came out and i heard the opening notes of "heart of gold" i died inside a little. neil young is one of my all-time favorite artists and i love hearing people that i love cover him. ben played the harmonica and everything. it was magical. i left my table in the hall to go stand in the doorway to the cafeteria and i took a short video.

the whole night was great! i didn't screw up anything and i had a really fun time watching ben play to a bunch of kids and their hip, eccentrically dressed parents. and now here are the only pictures i took:

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