We played four shows in support of the National in 2011. September 8 was the back end of a two-night run at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and Michael Ray, Danny Ray Thompson, Dave Davis and Fred Adams from the Arkestra were there to augment our lineup. During Wye Oak’s opening set, the digital mixing desk crashed, and all attempts to revive it were unsuccessful. The delay was not only inconvenient for bands and audience alike, but carried the risk of causing very costly overtime charges. We offered to go on on schedule and play instrumentally without the p.a., but as that might inhibit the trouble shooting, we were asked instead to sit tight. But at a certain point, it was decided that maybe we should start playing after all. James, Georgia and I played “Green Arrow” and “The Evil That Men Do–Craig’s Version.” Still no p.a. We went into “I Heard You Looking” and invited the Arkestra members to parade through the audience, playing their horns–remember that if they were on stage with us, they wouldn’t be heard. And then a bulletin from the front, or more accurately the wings: The p.a. is back, albeit without monitors. We pull the plug on “I Heard You Looking” and go into “Sudden Organ,” the first song we’d planned to play with the Arkestra, while someone in our camp points them back to the stage. Due to the delay, we’re almost out of time, but manage to squeeze in “Nuclear War” and “Little Honda,” during which another communiqué reaches me, this one giving us an additional 10 minutes. (Let me make clear how generous this was of the National? Shows at your Academies of Musics are extremely expensive and this was above and beyond.) I called for “Our Way to Fall” and then “Dreaming,” to Georgia’s mounting concern–unaware that our set length had been extended, she thought I had lost all sense of space and time.
Elsewhere in the news, Julie writes: My husband and I were married in the woods near Santa Cruz, CA on 9-8-07. Our first dance was to “My Little Corner of the World.” We have both enjoyed your music for about 10 years and some our first “dates” were at the Fillmore in SF. Doubly magical to see you at that venue because my father was one of the early rock poster artists for Bill Graham. http://www.normanorr.com/