Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Newton Rush.

Originally, this paragraph started with “not to hate on Jack Johnson, but...” But then I decided that hey, I do hate Jack Johnson. Well, hate is a strong word, but I find him incredibly boring. Not to mention that Bubble Toes sounds like a gross disease, not an endearing romantic term.

So when I was offered free tickets to the Newton Faulkner show last night, I was really torn, because:

a) I wanted to sleep.

b) Someone told me he was like a cooler Jack Johnson, and that doesn’t up the ante too much for me.

But I went, because I like my friends and I enjoy free things. Am I ever glad.

Yes, Newton Faulkner is someone your mom would like. The songs are safe and radio-friendly, but man can that guy keep a crowd happy.

If you’ve seen August Rush (the music movie with Felicity and a creepy homeless Robin Williams), Newton Faulkner makes you think that maybe the guitar prodigy kid grew up and developed a British accent. Oh, and acquired some serious ginger dreadlocks too.

On stage, you realize that most if not all the sounds that you hear in his songs are produced by Faulkner alone, with intricate guitar handling and a bit of help from some fancy pedals. It’s incredible to watch him, and you forget that the percussion comes from his rhythmic tapping on the guitar body rather than an accompanying band. He played a version of Teardrop that put Jose Gonzalez’s cover to shame aaaand played his own songs impersonating other bands – the man does a perfect Caleb Followill impersonation. Well, a Kings of Leon impersonating Newton Faulkner impersonation, rather. I know.

He had the crowd singing and clapping, and I even caught myself staring at the stage open-mouthed with my head tilted in admiration. Oops. But the highlight of the night was his rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, which he breezed through, alone with his guitar.

So yes, I am a fan, and no, I will never use the name Newton Faulkner in conjunction with Mr. Johnson’s. Leagues apart, I tell you.

Here’s a sample.


No comments: