The Innocence Mission & D.C.

On April 2nd Josh, Tanya and I packed up our little green Hyundai rental for a weekend trip to Washington, D.C. It was a longer vacation for them as they were to continue North, but I just came to see the Innocence Mission. Yes, this is the band I frequently go on and on about here.

The show was at a coffeehouse called "Jammin’ Java" and they had seats waiting in front of the stage. While this was odd at first (we had dinner while Don played his solo songs) the arrangement really worked; everyone got a chance to see the band rather than just the few tall people up front and there was no smoke. Left to right was Mike, Karen and Don. For a few songs Mike or Karen played a piano that was just a bit out of tune. All three were in a great mood, made some jokes (Karen remarked that over time she has to lower the key of songs and eventually one would sound like Barry White…) and Karen’s smiling in particular was joyous and contagious. The sound there was really top-notch and Karen’s vocals were just perfect. I really couldn’t ask for a better performance. I’d hopes of having them sign the new record or maybe getting a photo with them but I chickened out on both. At least I got to talk to them for a few minutes after. It’s been a long time since I’ve been nervous about seeing someone else playing a show.

Setlist: She May Turn Around, Tomorrow on the Runway, (order is foggy here out:) Sweep Down Early, Beautiful Change, One For Sorrow Two For Joy, Our Harry, Look For Me As You Go By, You Are the Light, I Never Knew You From the Sun, I Have Not Seen This Day Before, When Mac Was Swimming, Lakes of Canada. Encores: (there were 2 or 3) Yellow, July, Were You There?, Keeping Awake / Bookends (Simon & Garfunkel) medley, Moon River (about half-way through), Where Does the Time Go?

The rest of our time in D.C. was mostly spent shivering in line to see various nation treasures. The Constitution, Declaration of Independence, some mod art, some small French paintings, the Wright Brother’s plane, the usual. And while all that was marginally enriching, nothing quite compared to the vegetarian combination dish we got at Meskerem, an Ethiopian restaurant in the Adams Morgan district. After Josh and Tanya dropped me off to suffer airline food, they went back for seconds.

Tomorrow or a little later in the week I’ll post the bigger news. For now, I need to get some sleep.

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