Billboard on SXSW Attic Jam
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 17 08:19:41 CDT 2007
Earlier in the evening, Pete Townshend and his girlfriend, Rachel Fuller, presented a more subdued but even more ambitious series of collaborations with a special edition of their Attic Jam concert series at La Zona Rosa. With fellow big names like R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Robyn Hitchcock looking on, the duo worked with a collection of younger artists -- including Martha Wainwright, Massachusetts troubadour Willy Mason, new British sensation Mika, British singer/songwriter Alexi Murdoch and Joe Purdy, a Los Angeles artist with whom Townshend performed a duet version of his solo hit "Let My Love Open The Door."
Townshend, along with Fuller -- who likened the show to "a hootenanny" -- served generously as a sideman for portions of each artist's set, happily playing a support role even though his mere physical presence eclipsed anyone else on stage. For his own performances, Townshend dipped into the Who songbook, launching the evening with a solo acoustic rendition of "Drowned" from the "Quadrophenia" album. He then closed the show with a spare voice-and-piano version of "In The Ether" from the Who's latest album, "Endless Wire," and "I Can't Reach You," a Who chestnut from the '60s that he told the crowd, "not only have I never played in public, nobody I know has played this song in public."
-Brian in Atlanta
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