All words: Dana Mahr
all photos: Franz Mahr
Let me begin by saying I love Baltimore, but I sure wish there was more to eat around Ottobar. Seriously, there’s like a two cafés. For the brave, two Jamaican places around the corner. A couple of blocks down the road you can enjoy powdered doughnuts, candy and soft drinks for a complete meal from the gas station. This has to do, get some carbs from a beer at the bar.
Inside, the bar was cold with the soft humming of ceiling fans and the crowd was finally finished shuffling in as Baby Grand introduces themselves as DC natives. Ah! Me too! Young and promising, Baby Grand consists of the lead singer playing acoustic, an electric, a bass and a set of drums, all very handsome. Playing a total of seven songs, two of them solo with the singer and his acoustic and a sing-along of Radiohead’s ‘I’m a Creep.’ With experience and maturity I expect them to shock the crowd someday soon. See them again at Ottobar for $5 later this month.
Cara Salimando bridged the gap before Anthony Green. Cute and petite, Cara personally played the piano and ukulele along side two other members playing an acoustic and drums. Having more of a Michelle Branch feel, Cara played ten songs sporting band-aids on her fingers and X’s on her hands. With a strong voice and intelligent lyrics, we listened to the love stories she unfolded before us. She exited the stage with a loud applause from the crowd, something that seemed to surprise her.
But as anyone who has ever seen Anthony Green live, whether it be his solo work or accompanied by one of his various bands, the crowd goes mental when Sir Anthony comes into view and the show begins. It was a little after 9 on a Thursday night when Anthony Green spoke his first words to the crowd of this recent three event solo tour, “Damn.” The screaming, the girls requesting his body, the boys offering theirs, all he could say was ‘damn.’
He opens the room playing ‘Baby Girl’ but was silenced by the over powering collective voice of the crowd. Oh, yes, we love this song. Good choice in opening songs, sir. Anthony went through the entire Avalon album, some new songs and, by request of groupthink, ‘7 Years’ from his Saosin days. I feel I should note, in 2004 Anthony declared, since he is no longer a participating member of Saosin that he will no longer play the song. What a treat this was!
Again as anyone who has seen Sir Anthony play live would know, the music is only half the entertainment. Between songs Anthony banters the crowd. Asking for water, Anthony gladly accepts the bottled water from a girl in front and remarks, “This is a game of chance, this is a game of chance that we so love to play,” he drinks. “..oh I can feel the herpes growing already!” Adding later, “In the future it’s going to be the cool thing to get STD’s, all your kids are going to want warts and you won’t understand it.” Nice prediction but I hope it’s not true, for his son’s sake. Baby James was soon introduced to the crowd wearing striped red pajamas and looking so cool in giant ear-muffs to muffle the sounds.
He stares at us all, paying particular fascination to the microphone when a masculine voice yells out “He’s so effin’ cute!” Followed by worries for his son’s shaky future as a direct result from that moment of being on stage in front of a bar packed with people, I just want to say, if you’re reading this, no, you did not just pull a Michael Jackson.
Glancing often to the side where nearby baby James is being nurtured, Anthony played the entire set with a genuine smile on his face, exerting energy usually reserved for Circa Survive. Playing with the member’s of Good Old War, Anthony played a two hour set consisting of twenty songs. He attempted to say goodnight around eleven claiming it is past baby James’ bedtime. The crowd chanted ‘one more song’ and to their beckoning, he came. The audience demands so much from him and he just gives it, falling prey to our endless appetite. He played two encore songs and finally gave himself a break, dismissing the crowd to blare Circa Survive with the windows down all the way home. Anthony is playing again May 14th at Club Hell in Providence R.I. and making it home May 15th to play at The Note in West Chester, PA.