Review of his gig in Vicar St. " 1st April 2000
This is the way it was meant to be. No formalities just a few mates sitting around listening to great songs. Welcome to the world of Vic Chesnutt. He wheeled himself on stage, fiddled around with a few things on the ground, said a few words, picked up his guitar, said a few more words? "Let me just fix my balls?very important!" He triumphed in his testicular struggle and stated defiantly, "done! I'm ready to go."
"Em, I'm gonna do this one. This is em, eh, mmm, a song! Yeah, this is a song." So he started playing and the audience started to settle, in complete awe, marvelling at the vocal talents on display. Suddenly! "Nah! I don't wanna do that one, I'm gonna do this one?" Clearly the Georgian maestro deemed a set-list surplus to requirements. After each song he had to deliberate as to which one he would play next, thinking out loud all the while and every thought left the crowd in fits of laughter.
He may not have a large following but he does have an ardent following (including a substantial roster of US rock stars) and it wasn't long before he was transformed into a human jukebox. Requests were flying in from all corners of the room, each of which was met with a reply?
"Vic, play 'Bug.'"
"'Bug? I can't remember that one, sorry!"
"Vic, will you play 'Supernatural', pleeeeease?"
"Okay, yeah, I can do that one."
And so it went. "Panic Pure", "Onion Soup", "Gravity of the Situation." A careers
tunes were being begged and pleaded for but one voice from the back stood tall, repeatedly asking for 'Independence Day.'
"Nah! I won't be playing 'Independence Day' tonight."
"Come on Vic, why not?"
"I like the song an' all, I just don't think I could do it justice right now."
From the front - "play 'Dodge'", the back - "Florida", the side - "Doubting Woman". Then a familiar voice - "Independence Day". "Listen man, there's no f**kin' way I'm gonna play that song".
A bit of dithering and some vocal fine-tuning followed before he launched into his next song, the one and only 'Independence Day.' The soiree could have carried on all night if Chesnutt was to satisfy demand but with time restraints due to some trendy new club night the whole affair came to a premature end, the only drawback to an incredible night. When he played in Galway a few years back he was joined on stage by Michael Stipe and has regularly been accompanied by the Billy Corgans and Kristin Hershes of this world. There were no superstar guest appearances tonight. Thank Christ! They probably would have wrecked the whole thing.