Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Tonight, the oft-mentioned Daniel the Violin Guy, who treated me to Italian at Il Bacio across the street from my apartment yesterday as my official "birthday dinner," had a spare ticket to see rock violinist Bobby Yang perform at Eddie's Attic. I'd not seen Yang before, though Daniel had played me one of his CDs, and I love spending time with Daniel. So when Daniel invited me to sit at his front-row table to enjoy the band, I made my way to Decatur.

Before the show, Daniel stood outside in the lobby to greet me and introduced me to Bobby Yang. Yang's birthday was that night. I told him that my birthday is Thursday, and we discussed the whole Gemini-Cancer cusp phenomenon. He was very nice. I probably sounded like a dork.

Yang and his band play rock covers, though the covers are filled with passion and infused with energy. Yang and his band are so talented, but the whole thing carried this excellent jam-session vibe. I got to sit at the edge of the damn stage, which ruled. Everyone onstage during the show was having a fantastic time, and it made for a truly amazing night. The music was great. The show was excellent, more than I was expecting and maybe one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

Yang even covered one of my favorite songs, Stevie Wonder's "I Believe," and he issued a special thanks to Daniel from the stage for being "the best luthier in the business." Then, he name-checked the company Daniel works for. And Daniel just beamed.

I tried a little bit to watch how Daniel experienced the music, for he knows the instruments and understands them moreso than any person I've ever met. Mostly, he was just held in thrall by the great stuff that Yang was able to do with rock music. The big moments. The layering of sounds, often piling hints of songs on top of one another. The unbridled, infectious joy that he was able to communicate to his bandmates.

Daniel loves music. He feels it in his fingertips when he hears someone else play. He knows how the sounds are made, knows the wood and the hollows of the machine. In his element, he is one of the most remarkable people I've ever seen.

It was really good to share this with him.

Bobby Yang, meanwhile, said he and his band will be performing in Athens this week. And they're due back at Eddie's Attic on August 3. I highly recommend seeing them play.

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