Our good buddy Lauren Siegal is back with her second review for LMB after she saw a rather incendiary performance by Nathan Moore on Tuesday night at the Connecticut Yankee here in San Francisco. Here it goes. -Justin
Once I got over wanting to rip his clothes off (side note, his jeans were already ripped and after a few minutes of strategizing, I concluded that there were only six more rips necessary to fully de-pants him) and started to listen to him play, I quickly became a Nathan Moore fan. It’s not often that I stay out past midnight on a Tuesday, but last night the only thing that would have gotten me out of chair at the Yankee was maybe an invitation to go back to Moore’s hotel room. But even then, it would have been a tough choice, because sitting in that crowded room and listening to him sing was one of the most magical experiences I have had in a while.
I wasn’t the only one who was in awe. The audience barely spoke during his almost three-hour set. At one point, Moore announced that it was the end of the show and that he was going to go and smoke a cigarette and then come back and play some more music but that we should just think of it as background music and not pay too much attention to him. However, once he got back on stage, the crowd re-positioned their chairs so that they were facing him and promptly put away their cell phones. At the first stroke of his guitar, they were back under his spell, and stayed that way until almost 1am.
Listening to his very prolific and heartfelt lyrics, I got the feeling that I was experiencing a modern day Bob Dylan. While I have never seen Bob Dylan, I did read Chronicles, Volume 1 and saw the movie I’m Not There and understood at least 40% of it, so I consider myself well-versed on the subject. You would have to be a rock to not be moved by at least one verse in his impressive repertoire. In the span of his set, I fell in love, went through a broke-up, traveled the world, experienced great pain, and finally, experienced pure joy. The energy of the room told me that I wasn’t the only one on this journey with him. From the couple cuddling in the corner, to the dude with the dreads rocking his head to the beat, everyone was moved in some way.
A highlight of the night was when Fred Torphy, the lead singer from up-and-coming San Francisco band Big Light, joined Moore for two songs. I have seen Big Light at least a dozen times before and while I always have fun seeing them, I have only seen them in s***ty venues and could never really hear the lyrics or Torphy’s voice. I was pleasantly surprised that Torphy, beneath his Kurt Cobain look-a-like exterior, was actually a really talented lyricist with a sick voice. “Piece Together Wings,” a song the two co-wrote over Facebook one night was catchy and well-crafted. Torphy’s psychedelic-heavy sounding voice was an awesome contrast to Moore’s folksy twang.