God Street Wine @ Gramercy Theatre, August 16
If you’re a band that tours regularly, having the word “nostalgia” attached to your concerts isn’t a compliment. But in the case of God Street Wine, an act that called it quits in 1999 and has only played a handful of shows since, it’s a good thing. Last night at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City the band took the stage for only the 10th time since 2001 and acted as a musical time machine for a sold-out audience of mostly fervent followers who appreciated the opportunity to relive the band’s glory days at the first of three shows that brings this latest reunion to a close.
[All Photos by Jeremy Gordon]
God Street Wine had multiple types of crowd members to please: the die-hards who want to see songs the group hadn’t played the last time around in 2010, those familiar with their best-known material and those who never saw the band before but wanted to see what the hub-bub was about. By delivering two lengthy sets filled with classics, rarities and choice covers; the band did their part in satiating all three types of Winos and potential Winos.
Set One: Nightingale, Vanity Street, Mile By Mile > 615, Ballroom, Electrocute, Stranger, Weird Dream > Imogene
Set Two: Molly, Hungry Again, Stupid Hat, Wendy, Silver, Cheap Utah Blues, Hellfire > Strange as it Seems, Warm in Here, Bring Back The News
Encore: Without You* > Twin Peaks Theme > Upside Down-Inside Out-> Crosseyed and Painless, Get On the Train
* – First Time Played, Harry Nilsson Cover
When the audience entered they noticed more setups than original band members. For the majority of last night’s performance the five-piece was augmented by multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby (a former member of the band who played with them last week in California), vocalist Lizzy Friel and percussionist John Woody. This “God Street Wine Orchestra” added depth to the tunes, though at times it was hard to pick out Woody and Friel’s contributions. GSW opened with perhaps their most well-known song, and certainly their most catchy original, Nightingale. While the energy in the room was nowhere near the frenzied response to the NYC based band’s return after nine years on July 9, 2010 there were still plenty of hugs, high-fives and knowing glances exchanged when the reality of the situation kicked in. Just three years ago Winos never thought they’d see this day, let alone for a tenth time.