Saturday, June 17, 2017

Concert Review: Robyn Hitchcock at the Turf Club

Me and Robyn Hitchcock, June 15, 2017. (Photo by Davey Good Times.)

The Minneapolis skyline, with the art deco Foshay Tower from 1929 to the right, one of Robyn Hitchcock's favorite buildings.
On Thursday night I saw Robyn Hitchcock in concert again, this time at Saint Paul’s Turf Club. It was a typical Robyn Hitchcock show, with a set list that was mostly made up of songs that fans had requested through social media. There were fewer stream of consciousness monologues in between the songs than usual, and oddly enough, some of what Robyn said actually related to the song he was about to sing. Fancy that!

Robyn wore three different Robyn Hitchcock-style shirts-one during the show, one for the encore, and one after the show. What is a Robyn Hitchcock-style shirt, you might ask? Well, it’s a button down shirt with a vibrant paisley pattern or polka dots-I’ve long thought that Robyn should have his own clothing line. 

Some of the highlights of the show for me were “1974,” one of my favorite Hitchcock songs, which I wrote about a long time ago, “My Favorite Buildings,” “Raining Twilight Coast,” “Heaven,” and “Element of Light.” The set list skewed towards older songs, with just three tracks from Robyn’s latest release, titled Robyn Hitchcock. As always, Robyn’s guitar work was best showcased on “I’m Only You.” I wouldn’t mind it if he ventured off on similar flights of fancy on the fretboard on other songs as well, but for whatever reason that song really brings out his guitar playing. 

My favorite Robyn quote of the evening was, “I can count the number of times I’ve had sex in the Foshay building.” This was during the introduction to “My Favorite Buildings,” which Robyn, as usual, dedicated to the Foshay Tower. 

The encores featured a lovely version of Roxy Music’s “More than This,” which Robyn recorded as a B-side for a CD-single, back in the day when CD-singles existed. After the show Robyn graciously chatted with fans and signed autographs. He had a long conversation with the guy ahead of me about foreign pressings of LPs. Robyn told me that he liked my shirt-I was wearing a t-shirt with the cover of his new album. I told him that I was glad he played “1974,” and he asked if I was the person who had requested it. (I wasn’t.) All in all, it was another enjoyable evening with a uniquely talented individual.

Set list:
Old Pervert
I’m Pray when I’m Drunk
Driving Aloud (Radio Storm)
Serpent at the Gates of Wisdom
My Favorite Buildings
Glass (not Glass Hotel)
Beautiful Girl
Raining Twilight Coast
Madonna of the Wasps
Virginia Woolf
I’m Only You
Mad Shelley’s Letterbox
First encore:
Element of Light
Visions of Johanna
Queen of Eyes
Second encore:
She Belongs to Me
More than This

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