I always like seeing a house concert at someone else's house. Especially when that someone else is someone I know. I first met Chris Johnson at SXSW several years ago, and have been meaning to get to a show at his house ever since. Usually he's hosting Will Johnson the night before he plays my house and he sends Will on to me tired, a little hungover, and amusingly slap happy. Tonight however he was hosting the Figgs' Pete Donnelly. I enjoy the Figgs, and Donnelly especially, but not anywhere near as much as my friend Michelle does. So when she wanted to go to Milwaukee for this show there were a lot of selling points. She informed me that two other guys would be joining us, even though she told me a name, and that they have been to the house, I had no idea who she was talking about till they showed up. They were terrific traveling companions.
While my set-up feels more like a venue in a house, seeing Donnelly and opener Brett Newski tonight was definitely a house concert. They fit an amp and a mike stand between the fireplace and the coffee table, and the couches and comfy chairs were snuggled in around it. Newski's short opening set was catchy and quirky, and I was completely charmed by Donnelly. There were a lot of Figg fans there who had a list of requests. Only one girl didn't seem to have done her research, requesting a song sung by one of the other band members. Donnelly said he'd be happy to play it, except he only knew the bass part.
When I talked to him after the show, he was excited to find out that I also did house shows, and said he would love to come play solo or with the Figgs. Whoa, the Figgs? Really? We definitely need to make that happen. Yay house concerts!