Last Night: Cowboy Junkies & Son Volt at the Zoo"/>
The neat thing about seeing shows at the Woodland Park Zoo -- other than the world's largest fleet of mischievous two-and-a-half-year-olds and husky, fly-fishing lesbian security guards -- is that the artists pick a specific animal to which they'd like a portion of the concert's proceeds to go towards. In the sweltering Wednesday afternoon (Zoo shows star early) heat, Cowboy Junkies picked gorillas and Son Volt picked the sloth. But the awesomest thing about those security guards is they turn a blind eye to DIY beer and wine consumption in the face of a so-called ban.
I know Cowboy Junkies oeuvre well; not so much Son Volt's, despite a four-year tour in their native St. Louie. Rarely does the band (Cowboy Junkies, at least for now) with two brothers and one sister stray too far from their sensational live album, 200 More Miles, and last night was no exception. But they did dedicate a cover of Neil Young's "It's Only Castles Burning" to a woman in the audience celebrating her 60th birthday. Great song, but I'm not sure what the significance was -- unless her house was on fire in real time.
Son Volt came on next and sounded exactly like Son Volt. Which is to say, two out of three songs featured exquisite slide guitar, the word "diesel," and Jay Farrar dropping his voice a full octave on the third word. I'm not complaining: Slide guitar is the musical equivalent of strawberries on waffles. That shit can be burnt to a crisp underneath, and you still come out satisfied. So it was with Son Volt, even though I'll never forgive them for not playing "Methamphetamine."
Here are a couple crazy awesome photos of Son Volt, courtesy of pro bono SW photog Li'l Scoop (the Junkie thumbnail's hers too!):