It’s old news that I have been making efforts to stick to my guns on this whole “saving money” business.
Sticking to them so much that this week when Glen Phillips played at Largo, I had to say Lar-no and stay home to conserve cash (only to later learn that Glen had Garrison Starr there with him and I missed what can probably be called a once-in-a-loooong time opportunity). I was pretty bummed that I missed that, but knowing that the end of my week would bring partial redemption, I carried on.
And that partial redemption ended up redeeming itself in full as I got to see Garrison last night at The Mint.

I was accompanied by my very dear Anthro buddies Tracy, Erica and Brianna, all of which had never heard of Garrison before last night. I am thankful that they were willing to come along with me, risking losing cash and a Friday night if they weren’t keen on what Garrison was dishing out, though I doubted this would be the case. Before we went to the show we stopped at the ever wonderful Farmers Market, located next to the beautiful and pricey… beautifully pricey… Grove. I ate at Tusquellas Fish and Oyster Bar, and although my shrimp quesadilla took impossibly long to make, when it came out I took it with a smile and sat down to enjoy after the other girls had nearly licked their plates due to waiting so long. The quesadilla was delicious and came with a salsa verde that had whole pieces of ‘cado in it, something I had never tried before but will be trying again, and again, and again.

After our filling meals we headed over to The Mint in plenty of time to catch Garrison and some of the openers, also making sure that Brianna and Erica got in as they didn’t have tickets in advance.
We got in, beverages were purchased, and we watched the end of Shannon Moore’s set. I found it was odd because this was her record release party and there were signs all over promoting her as “being heard on Felicity.” I was pretty sure that the show went off the air ages ago, but I wasn’t sure if I should respect her perseverance in making sure her album gets out years after being discovered, or kind of odd and funny that something like that was her claim to fame. Ah, Hollywood.

Garrison was slated to go on at 10 and by 10 Shannon was just finishing up, and we still had Abra Moore (no relation, I think…) to sit through. She was interesting, but I had a hard time really hearing her as people were talking impossibly loud and we were positioned far too close to a speaker.

The Mint is usually a really cool place to catch a show, but last night it was just awful. No one was listening to the music, everyone was talking as loud as they could trying to compete with the music, and the sound was doing some funky stuff with feedback. I was hoping these kinks would be fixed before Garrison took the stage, and as it turns out they were. Also, they usually let you sit on the floor in front of the tables, but they weren’t last night so you either had to stand in the mob next to the bar in the back or snag a table and oblige their two drink minimum. About halfway through Abra, we opted for the latter. To top all of this off I got beer spilled on me by an drunk older man who was a little bit too apologetic and just made me uncomfortable. No bother though, I wanted no more of this and no more Moores, bring on the Garrison.

She went on at about 11 and opened with a new song that is just gorgeous. I didn’t catch the name of it, but it had that sad sweetness that Garrison captures so well. She looked absolutely beautiful and refreshed and ready to sweat it up rockin’ out on stage, which she definitely did. It was her and a band (Neilson Hubbard and “Jesus” (real name Kurt?), the guys who (I think) recorded the Fan’s Greatest Hits Volume 1 with her) and they completely rocked. I wish the tables weren’t there and there was actually room to get up and dance a little, but I danced pretty well from my seat if I do say so myself.

She played almost everything I wanted to hear with perfection and added some new twists to familiar songs that I absolutely adored.
“Superhero” especially rocked the shit and it was impossibly hard not to sing along and dance around like a crazy person during this incredibly well driven and well constructed masterpiece of a rock song.
And I’ve come to love the song “Pretending.” It’s painful, sadly easy for me to relate to, and gets better every time I hear it.
She played “Unchangeable,” a song from her yet-to-be-released album that is currently on rotation over at her myspace page(Check out “Gardenia.” You won’t be sorry).
Her encore consisted of a cover “Time After Time” (which was missing the Gabriel Mann piano and Adrianne back up vocals but was still gorgeous), and she wasn’t sure what to do for the last one, so those in the know were shouting out requests. I threw in “Wonderful Thing,” she looked at me, smiled and said “YES!” until someone said “Inside Out” which made everyone cheer and it ended up being the closer. Totally stellar and incredible.

As always, her banter was top drawer. Hilarious, charming and often obscure, Garrison knows how to please an audience with her musical gift and her sharp sense of humor and wit making an hour set simply not long enough.

For fans who want to know, she made the same mention of said yet-to-be-released album, that it is currently without label or release date. Sad, I know. If I were a rich girl…

I’ve heard her make this same sarcastic comment before about “wanting to keep her career a secret,” and it makes me laugh but also upset. Garrison has got more guts, talent, and spunk than almost all the stuff that is making millions of dollars by the minute. She’s passionate and writes some of the best rock songs that I can think of coming from, not only a female rocker, but ANY rocker in the past long while. It terribly tragic how artists like this get buried and left by the wayside, and I think once you hear Garrison, you’ll understand. She’s a wonderful thing. Tell all your friends.