Day 265: Visit the Mayne Stage and see Johnny Flynn

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Tonight we rocked out to alternative British folk music at the historic Mayne Stage theater in Rogers Park off of the Morse stop.

The original building was constructed in 1912, has at different times served as a shoe repair shop and a synagogue, and was only recently renovated into an intimate modern venue. They even had Rogue Brewery’s Dead Guy Ale on tap (Oregon craft beer), which scored it extra credit.

There was quite an eclectic crowd on hand. Old men with gray manes (Maynes?) stood side-by-side with hipster high schoolers. I guess folk music spans all ages. Now, on to the acts.

Opener: Caitlin Rose

This Nashville-native was the first to jam. She sang with a sexy Southern drawl, but was evidently irritated by the loud chatter of some people in the audience. It’s especially rude when people talk to each other with their backs turned to the stage. I don’t blame her. The lyrics to a couple of her songs were a little bit repetitive, but she had a great voice and an amazing upper register. Here’s a sample song:

And then, the headliner: Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit.

Seriously, check this guy out. At different times during his hour long set he played mandolin, steel guitar, fiddle, banjo and trumpet. Pacifying voice and pure talent on any instrument. Plus all his songs sound like old British folklore. He seemed pretty shy, which made him a little bit awkward on stage, but in a funny, endearing way. He didn’t play any covers – only original songs – which was great but made the set pretty short. When the band left the stage just before the encore, a bunch of the high school hipsters left, which makes me think this might’ve been their first concert. Here’s a sample song:

I’ll definitely be returning to the Mayne Stage.

*Photo credit for the above goes to Lauren Biron, as my cell phone camera was having trouble focusing in the dark theater.

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