Sharing a Mitch McVicker concert experience

From:   Curt McLey
Date:  Tue May 6, 2003  3:35 am
Subject:  Three Hour Drive to See Mitch McVicker

Mitch McVicker is one of my favorite acoustic artists, though  ironically enough, he seems to be sliding in more of an electric direction. For the second time in as many years, I  drove three hours  north - to Sioux Falls, South Dakota - to see Mitch in concert.

Mitch's latest project is called "Without Looking Down." For my album review in The Phantom Tollbooth to Tollbooth Review

As my review mentions, Mitch has evolved into more of a plugged in direction in "Without Looking Down." I was more than a little curious to find out if the electric twang of his latest album would  be duplicated in concert. As it turns out, in concert, McVicker electrifies not only most of the "Without Looking Down" cuts, but many of his formerly acoustic based tunes, have become plugged in  versions of themselves as well.

Though admittedly I prefer Mitch's acoustic sound, I'm an old rock and roll disc jockey from way back - and an electric kick can be fun. The band actually seemed more joyful than the last time I saw them - when the sound was more acoustic based. I guess it's easy for good old rock and roll to jab our fun bone.

I'd love to take the time to do a song by song blow by blow, but it's past 3:00 in the morning and it will be time for work before I know it. Suffice it to say that a Mitch McVicker concert is ALWAYS a new  experience. Mitch is a master at embellishing and modifying his tunes with ad libs and tweaks that make it a little difficult to sing along in synch. If you are one that prefers an exact replication of what you hear on disc, you may be disappointed with a McVicker concert. I'm one that truly enjoys harmony, instrumental, and lyric ad libs. Fiddling with the songs keeps things interesting for  performers too.

In the year or better since I last saw a McVicker concert, it appears Mitch has honed his entertainer chops. He seems confident and relaxed on stage. Like most good entertainers, Mitch is naturally  funny. Though we can probably conclude that many of his between song bits have evolved from repeated concert song introductions, Mitch delivers his "lines" with freshness and sincerity.

As with his music, McVicker exudes vulnerability and sincerity. He is strikingly "down-to-earth," avoiding any hint of pretense or  religious talk. You are as apt to hear Mitch talk about squished  lady bugs or nose picking as you would be to hear him spout the standard paint by number God lingo of many entertainers. Still,  there is often (though not always) a spiritual lesson - in the matter-of-fact verbiage.

In short, if you have the opportunity to see a Mitch McVicker concert - even if it requires a drive of a few hours - don't hesitate.   ~ Curt McLey  Moderator, Christian Acoustic Group

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