Concert Review: Tim Barry in Charleston, SC

Tim Barry and Laura Stevenson concert

Last Friday had a lot of firsts for me: first article published on 50thirdand3rd (or anywhere!), first time at The Purple Buffalo, and first time seeing each of the artists playing that night. The Purple Buffalo is a small concert venue in Charleston, SC and I was surprised there weren’t more people there since it was a Friday and they had a great line-up. The show must’ve kicked off right on time because I was delayed a little by traffic and only caught the very last song of the first act but I liked it – “Two Coyotes” by Roger Harvey – it was kind of mellow but heartfelt and he’s right, “compassion is better”.

Laura Stevenson was on second and I really enjoyed the simplicity of her performace, she sat perched up on a barstool playing solo electric guitar through most of her set and finished up with a few songs on acoustic. She offset that simplicity with powerful yet sweet vocals. She introduced about 90% of her songs as sad and almost as many as new. She has a way of making these sad songs seem not so sad when she plays so I’m really looking forward to hearing these sound on the album.

The final act of the evening was Tim Barry. He has been right at the top of my Desperate to See Live for the First Time list for a long time now and he was just as dynamic a performer in person as I could have hoped. Barry definitely communicates with the audience both through his music and what he chooses to say on stage, sharing a very positive message on staying strong through tough times and doing the things you’re scared to do, telling us “don’t let anybody whup you”. Barry was very committed to his performance, circling the microphone as he played, even bringing the microphone stand down into the crowd a couple times to be even closer to the audience.

Barry is obviously a thoughtful, emotional guy – he made a point to look the fan who helped get his microphone back onstage directly in the eyes and say thank you – and you can feel it in every song that he plays and story he shares. He played tons of songs, from his oldest album to his newest (High on 95, released September 2017), and it was an amazing experience to be at this concert with the crowd singing along and have him say, “I’m going to play forever – I don’t give shit”. Oh, if only he could.

Check out Tim Barry’s next couple dates in the Southeastern US in January (I’m seriuosly considering the 3 hour drive to see the show again this Friday) and more throughtut the spring here:

Tim Barry Tour Dates

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Melissa Varner

Here to share my love of music old and new and bands big and small.
Hope to see you at a show soon!

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