Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

Carbon Leaf at WXPN World Cafe

[I was asked to post this somewhere where it could be linked to, so apologies to anyone reading this who saw it on FB or LJ who is also seeing the RSS re-posts.]

I took the train out to Philadelphia mid-morning. I couldn’t meet up with Erin until later in the afternoon, but I got a ride to the train station, so I had to go when the ride was offered! My plan was going to be to just plop myself on a bench in 30th Street and read for a few hours. I went into Cosi to get some tea and my iPod beeped with a discovered open wifi at the Cosi, so instead I grabbed a comfy booth and alternated between being online on either Jack (the N810) or Ianto (the iPod) and my book (Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry). I even managed to catch Tim for a bit on Skype before Erin was out of bar exam prep class and she finally met up with me.

We were only a few blocks away from WXPN, so we headed over there to pick up the tickets for the show. Surprise, surprise, guess who we bumped into? None other than Barry,who was going out to the van to get something as we were walking past. We stopped and chatted with him for a few minutes and had a fun moment while Barry tried to remember my name and all he could tell me was “you sell merch for us sometimes, but I didn’t need you tonight….” until I took pity on him and reminded him of my name.

Tickets procured, it was time to find dinner. They serve food at WXPN, but we both agreed the prices were a bit on the high side, so we opted to walk around until we came across a food court and got pizza slices the size of my head. I’m not kidding, they were huge! and cheap. We headed back over to WXPN, even though it was early, and got in a small (but growing) queue for the door. Most of the people ahead of us were older adults (which I now suspect might have been the family members of the new bassist) and they all went and sat at the tables to order food, so Erin and I were able to grab prime real estate at the front of the stage. We were *really* early, so we opened a bar tab, ordered some beer and just caught up on a lot of things. Nicole texted me at this point, so we made plans for her to meet us when she got there. I saw someone from S&D III who recognized my kitty ears, but I can’t remember who it was (Sorry!)

The opening act, Alternate Routes, was a lot more than I expected. I know I should give openers more credit than that, but more often than not I wind up not being overly impressed with openers. But Alternate Routes rocked, and the lead played a tool box. I’m not kidding! We saw this tool box on the stage with a cord sticking out of it and had no clue what it was and then the lead picked it up and started shaking it for boom effects. After the opener was done, I made a beeline for the bathroom. Erin and Nicole asked him what was in the box, and apparently it’s just a lot of junk that makes noise when you shake it. Still, pretty cool!

Soon it was time for Carbon Leaf! 😀 I received nods/grins/acknowledgment from Barry, Terry, and Carter (several times), and Barry kept focusing on our group. I don’t know if it was because he talked to Erin and I before the show or if it was because I was one of the few recognizable faces in the front, but no complains from me…until Barry almost took me out with his mic stand, that is.

Barry uses a cordless microphone and he has a stand for it. The stand can be batted around and will (usually) pop itself right back up, sort of like a boxing dummies. Well, a weight must have fallen out of it or something happened to it because Barry batted it and it stated coming down straight at me! If I hadn’t stuck my hand out to catch it, it would have cracked me (and possibly the person behind me) on the head! Erin and I tried to get the thing to go back on stage, but it bounced back and almost hit her, so then we just got it to lay flat on the stage. Whoops. After the song, I shouted “are you trying to kill me?” and Barry grins back at me and mimes being smacked in the face with a mic stand. Thanks.

Later in the show, he had a piece of paper with someone’s birthday on it, and he was trying to figure out if the date was the 26th or not. He claimed his watch said it was the 21st and everyone is laughing at him and people are shouting that he must be drunk, so he comes over to the edge of the stage and leans down at Erin and I to show us his watch to confirm the date. LOL. (and sure enough, his watch said the 21st)

But the funniest part had to be the re-telling of what happened at the Philly Diner. For those of you who follow CL and Terry on Twitter, you might have seen the posts about a guy passing out in the bathroom. Well, Barry proceeded to show us exactly how the man was laying on the ground:


and flops down with his butt right in front of my face (yeah, thanks for that “/)

The BEST part of the show was the encore. A reprise of Learn to Fly unplugged:

Absolutely beautiful.

After the show, we headed outside to the lobby where Erin got to talk to the lead from Alternate Routes a bit more while we waited for the crowd around Carbon Leaf to thin down. Finally it thinned down so we went over to talk to them and so Erin could get her CD signed (I recommended she start with Indian Summer, since she was familiar with a few songs off that album to begin with). Barry apologized for almost whacking me with his mic stand, and then decided it was better it was me and not a new fan, because then there might have been a lawsuit. I told him I’d have PTSD now and dream about mic stands flying at my head. LOL. We also found out that Carter’s banjo is broken! 🙁 He was playing his guitar as if it was a banjo for a few songs, so Erin asked him about it and he told us that it was broken. Oh noes! So I hope he can get it fixed soon! I got a big hug from Terry, and I talked to Terry about performing in the UK….he said maybe next year and asked me if I’d fill the bars with people I knew if they do. heh. I also found out that CL is NOT scheduled to be on ANY of Sixthman’s cruises in 2010, and Carter made it sound as though they had wanted to do BNL’s again before BNL decided to not do one. I asked about the rumors of a Celtic Cruise, and Terry said they’d probably do it if there was one….though there were questions on being able to fill an entire cruise ship, so we decided we ought to charter the Lewes-Cape May ferry for a show. LOL. Love those guys.

We made our good-byes and split off from Nicole. Erin decided since it was so late we’d just grab a cab back to her apartment and we were soon in Pajamas. I think we wound up going up to bed around 1. She has a studio loft with the bed in the loft. I woke up around 4/430 to use the bathroom and decided I didn’t want to climb up the ladder and try to squeeze my way back over to the bed, so I just crashed on her couch (and really didn’t get much sleep. Darn Philadelphia street noise!). I finally decided around 630 to just get dressed and I managed to make it to 30th street just as the 9AM Keystone was boarding. Woo.

So, fantastic day/night. I wish CL was playing more shows near me…they need to come out to Lancaster! 😀

[x-posted to facebook and LJ….with more photos on FB, so if you’re NOT on my FB, add me!]

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