Silver Jews / Spiritual Family Reunion Blind Pig, Ann Arbor MI - March 25, 2006

Silver Jews / Spiritual Family Reunion Blind Pig, Ann Arbor MI - March 25, 2006
"You guys came on the right night,” David Berman mused mid-afternoon, several hours before his electrifying gig at the Blind Pig. "It’s the last show of the tour and number 11 is gonna be the best one.” Over the past 13 years, Berman’s reputation as a recluse who never tours, coupled with dispatches of erratic performances at Nashville bars, has rendered him more myth than man. Naturally, an announcement about a first tour was met with shock, excitement and anxiety from long-time fans. In the end, Berman and a killer Silver Jews line-up put on an unbelievably amazing show. Spiritual Family Reunion leader Patty Lemay drove straight from Nashville to open up and was joined by SFR bassist/Jews guitarist William Tyler and Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich, who’d never played with Lemay before. While Lemay’s songs were compelling (particularly "Shane”), Nastanovich’s drumming proved distracting. Soon enough, Berman and the dapper Silver Jews ambled on-stage to a huge roar from the audience. With wife Cassie aglow on bass, Berman happily chatted to the crowd before consulting his trusty music stand for the lyrics to "Pet Politics.” From there, the band nailed songs from almost every Silver Jews record, with obvious stand-outs including "Random Rules,” "Trains Across the Sea,” "Slow Education” and intense takes on "Smith & Jones Forever” and "Dallas.” Tanglewood numbers like "Punks in the Beerlight” and "Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed” were downright ferocious, and Nastanovich made a triumphant return to scream along with "There is a Place.” Peering amiably through his prescription designer shades at the end of a glorious night, Berman thanked the sweaty faithful for their patience, promising they’d see the Silver Jews play live again soon enough.