Tonight we saw Aimee Mann at The Sheldon in St. Louis. This was our second time seeing her; the first time was a couple years ago at The Pageant. The Sheldon felt more intimate, which may have been due to the fact we had front row seats. !!!
I found out about this concert from Aimee’s Facebook page about an hour before the presale. We bought tickets immediately and ended up with these. Pretty great, but also slightly awkward when the lights were on and we’re just a few feet away.
I knew three of the first four songs. I don’t remember hearing The Moth before but it was soothing to listen to, just like the rest of her songs.
I LOVE Goodbye Caroline and Jamie, Aimee’s piano player, made it that much better. I don’t think she had a piano player the last time we saw her, and oddly enough, earlier today I was thinking the only thing missing from her music is piano. No longer!
After Labrador she told a story about a friend of hers, a bass player who always introduces his songs in the most literal way possible. Like if a song was called Beautiful he’d say “This is a song about being beautiful. It’s called beautiful.” Aimee thought that was great because she’s never been the type of musician to tell a story to segue into a song; she’s always thought it’s better to just play straight through.
Save Me is actually one of the first songs of Aimee’s that I knew; I heard it in college a lot and then rediscovered it when I realized the Magnolia soundtrack is nearly all Aimee Mann and wonderful.
Anyway, she did Save Me and then four other older songs.
After these she said she was going to play a couple of new songs from her record that’s going to come out in early 2017. She knows there a reason it takes so long for albums she puts out herself to come out, but can never remember.
For this one, she decided to think about what she thinks people think of when they think of Aimee Mann. She assumed they thought of sad, depressing, acoustic songs. So she decided to do that, but to a level never seen before. A friend of hers asked what the songs were about and she said “what most of my songs are about; mental illness”. In text that doesn’t come across as humorous, but the way she said it was in a very funny self deprecating way. So her friend said “that’s what you should call the album”. So that’s what she’s doing. LOL.
I usually hate when musicians play new stuff at concerts but I loved both of these songs.
Stuck in the Past is an oddly specific song about a spouse leaving their significant other to go on a mission to Mars. Aimee said she has friends that want to do this and she never understood the thinking–“they realize they’re never coming back, right? What does the other person say? Have fun?” I like songs about space (Space Oddity and Rocketman). Space is fascinating and scary and very lonely seeming to me, so any song about traveling there has a built in sadness to it. I like feeling that.
When she introed Good for Me she said “get out your handkerchiefs!” but I do this thing where I zone out while listening to music and have no idea what the lyrical content is, so I was fine.
She played a song called 4th of July and then asked for audience requests. She said she didn’t remember all of a lot of the songs people were yelling out, but made an attempt at Amateur. Her piano player Jamie looked up the notes on his computer.
“I think that you’re a jerk.
But I’m pretty sure I liked you at one time.”
That’s probably the gist of it, but she abandoned that song pretty quickly and instead played I’ve Had It, a song from her first solo record that she wrote when she was touring with Jon Brion.
Then she played one of my favorites, Red Vines.
“And I’m the only one who knows
That disneyland’s about to close”
Then, as she said she would, she left for about two minutes while the audience clapped and then came back for an encore.
And that was that.
This concert didn’t start until 9pm, which is late for us. But with no opening act they were done by 10:30pm and I would have been content to stay and listen to more. Aimee’s music is so mellow and relaxing.
We stuck around after people had cleared out and I got one of the guys to give me a set list and Tracy got one of Aimee’s guitar picks!
It was a great night, and totally worth the lack of sleep I’m going to get tonight. 🙂