Cass McCombs and his band
  • Cass McCombs and his band
The last time I saw Cass McCombs in concert, he was very angry. I’ve blocked most of the night out, but the parts I remember involve McCombs repeatedly asking for the lights to be dimmed, one concert goer in the crowd requesting that the singer take his shirt off, and a general sense that he hated everyone in attendance. Last night, McCombs was a much more gracious performer (he said “thank you” more than once!), and played a short and tidy nine song set to a paltry standing room crowd at the Showbox Market. Despite it lacking seething anger emanating from onstage, the set was weird in a lot of different ways. I’ve never attended a concert where I could hear someone’s yawn over the music. Or witnessed a man next to me sketching a still life portrait of the musicians in a moleskine. Or been distracted by a venue’s disco ball. Or stood next to so many men in scarves at a row of urinals. McCombs and his band played two of my favorite songs from his latest album, Humor Risk, “Love Thine Enemy” and “Robin Egg Blue,” and with most of the songs being somewhat subdued, the few moments where the band cut loosed seemed even more invigorating.

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