With the Autumn upon us and Winter approaching it’s time to switch stages at Wolf Trap. Switch from the outdoor spacious confines of the pavilion to the cozy intimate setting provided by the barns. On this night we will touch nearly on a direct personal base with two of the most influential Alternative musicians of the early 90’s Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips and Grant Lee Buffalo’s Grant-Lee Phillips (no relation).
The duo made their appearance to a round of applause. They jokingly determined who would perform first by flipping a guitar pick like a coin. The pair had a knack to break any tension and prepared the audience for a highly enjoyable yet relaxing experience. Glen got the concert started. His singing and guitar playing was inspiring. His stage presence was magnificent. Just a single spot light a microphone and a guitar coupled with musical harmony. The main focus of the show was the music. He attributed that to the Barns at Wolf Trap and their detailed focus on making the music the main priority and not the bar. He did humorously encourage maybe a beer or two. After Glens set Grant took the stage. It was surprising I thought they would perform the entire show as a duo but they each had their own solo act. Grant was as equally amazing. It’s hard to pin point exactly his style but it sounded like a mix between Ted Nugent, Mathew Bellamy, and Elvis. It’s hard to be concise when reviewing his act there are so many details in his lyrics and with his guitar playing. The best way to summarize it would be to call it good old fashion acoustic American Rock n Roll.
We then went into a short intermission. Upon return we were greeted to what would be the Duo portion of the concert. This was what I was waiting for. Playing as a pair Glen and Grant had perfect cohesion with the guitar. The instrumentals were tantalizing. There are moments when you just take in the experience and save it into you long term memory as something extraordinary. One of those moments was when they performed “Walk on the Ocean” unplugged. My favorite song though was “All I Want” I know it’s a little cliché being this particular song received Glen Phillips the most commercial success, but I couldn’t help it when they played it, it felt like all my hair stood straight up like I was being electrocuted. The only thing I could do is watch in astonishment and fight off the tears. Truly inspiring, one of the most invigorating musical experiences I have ever witnessed.
This is hands down without a question a great concert. I had never been more moved and inspired and that’s putting it lightly. I would highly very much recommend anybody to catch this act. For those who had the pleasure of experiencing it, they are truly fortunate.
MUSIC REVUE by Alan J. Duckworth