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Sept 30, 2005

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Volume 33
Issue 39

 
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 03:26
 

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Antony and the Johnsons fill The Triple Door to standing room only
Antony and the Johnsons fill The Triple Door to standing room only
By Richard Kennedy - SGN A & E Writer

Antony and the Johnsons

September 17 @ The Triple Door

"My lady story / Is one of annihilation /My lady story / Is one of breast amputation&.." So began the set list by Antony and the Johnsons Saturday night at The Triple Door. Antony's voice in person is even more captivating than on his CD and continues, "And you're still coaxing me / To come on out and live / Well I'm a crippled dog / I've got nothing to give." "My Lady Story" from the I Am A Bird Now album set the tone for the short set that he and the Johnsons performed that night. Dressed in black with dark stringy hair in his face, Antony sat as his piano through the entire performance while backed by a cellist, bassist, violinist and an acoustic guitar player. Like the feel of the album, the performance continued with an air of simplicity, rich string sounds and Antony's haunting voice.

Without song breaks, the band beautifully blended the first six numbers together, finally ending with Antony on piano singing "Man is the Baby." With his soft voice he yearns, "Forgive me, let live me / Set my spirit free&. / Losing it comes in a cold wave / Of guilt and shame all over me." Slowly, the other instruments enter the song one by one continuing until it ends to beautifully cap the opening set.

"You Are My Sister" is a track that is sung with Boy George on the album. The song resonates the feeling of a bond between two humans, something they have shared but not necessarily together. Knowing that Boy George is one of Antony's idols, it makes sense that one could draw the conclusion that it refers to the pain of growing up Gay we all feel in our own way, even though we don't experience it together. When performed live as a solo number, Antony turned it into a song of reminiscence. The lyrics are heartfelt and are being said to somebody from one's past that is just no longer part of that person's life. "You are my sister / And I love you&. / We felt so differently then / So similar over the years / The way we laugh / The way we experience pain / Faces and worlds that no one else will ever understand."

The Triple Door had standing room in the back bar area, since all of the tables sold out. During every song, the audience sat quietly riveted to the performers. It seemed that there wasn't very much time for them to get through their set as very little was said in between songs.

The concert ended with "Hope There's Someone," the opening track from I Am a Bird Now. The audience hoped for an encore, but the band only had time to come out for a second bow. It's been a fantastic year for Antony and the Johnsons, considering they just won the Mercury Music Prize for Album of the Year. The live performance Saturday night showed Seattle that it was a well-deserved award for a group of very talented musicians that show nothing but promise.

To match such strong and well-written lyrics with beautifully unpretentious string melodies displays such restraint and artistry. It was no small wonder the audience could have gone on listening for the rest of the night.

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