Jeff Buckley is alive…

Tribute concerts are often like an uncomfortable conversation with a past lover- you know their every move, their every sigh, but for some unknown reason you feel this tension, this excruciating pain of being around someone you know you cannot have. For me, watching a Jeff Buckley tribute concert on the 16th of November in a small pub in Newton was this frustrating and painful emotion. Just the name ‘Jeff Buckley’ sends shivers down my spine, after all- who else could create a legion of die-heart fans that have stayed true to the music seven years after a tragic and heartbreaking death. Jeff Buckley will forever be remembered for his powerful and inspiring music, this contrasting with the superficial and surface image ideals of todays artists…

The set list consisted of crowd favourites such as ‘Mojo Pin’, ‘Grace’, ‘Last Goodbye’ and “Hallelujah’, with the audience often mouthing the words to each songs. As I watched these musicians struggle to play these pure masterpiece-like songs, I began to understand why Buckley was so special. Jeff Buckley’s skill was matched by his ability to connect with a crowd, to get inside the audiences hearts and souls. While these musicians struggled to get past the notes, they forgot the most important aspect of an entertainer- to express an emotion.

Although the night was ultimately a disappointment, the one thing I took out of the concert was the musicians overwhelming love for Jeff Buckley. Every time a new musician would get up to play a song of Jeff’s, they would tell the audience ‘this is my favourite song’, often telling the crowd stories of how they have listened to this song millions of times. Going to this concert, I was expecting a fascinating musical experience, instead I was in awe of how deeply Jeff Buckley had touched so many people; touched so many souls.

By Ari Schwartz

1 Comment

  1. i could not agree more with the metaphor of the uncomfortable conversation with an ex-lover. and that’s not because of the crush i’ve been having on jeff for the past month (he is gaining fans even after his makes-you-question-god kind of death). 😛

    a voice so river-like as his (from a whispering spring to a swirling creek to a furious torrent) is hard to equal with whatever amount of skill if you miss the key ingredient: emotion, as you’ve already pointed out. jeff had a hearbreaking way of singing, so natural, though with a constant pressure all the way from his chest to his throat, like he would burst into tears any minute. especially in songs like “hallelujah”, “morning theft” or “grace”. but livelier songs such as “witches’ rave” have a certain melancholy to them as well. jeff buckley is unimmitable in the absence of that melancholy whose epitome he is.

    if i had been to that tribute concert and had found this missing, i would have run straight home and listened to a cd of his. or, on second thought, i would have got up and sung a song myself. 😛 but that would have been a bit hard to do from way here in romania, where i am. if jeff buckley has reached this full-fledged but not well-known european country, he has achieved quite something.

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