Last Night: Alejandro Escovedo At House Of Blues
This never would have happened in Austin.
In our fair state capital, Alejandro Escovedo is worshiped like a god, and more people would show up to watch him wash his car than came out to House of Blues' Bronze Peacock Room Thursday night. To be fair, the show was announced exactly one week before it happened, so even the late Bill Graham would have had a hard time promoting it.
In effect, what Aftermath and the other 125 or so smartest people in Houston got was a private party with one of Texas greatest living songwriters, someone whom Bruce Springsteen calls up to ask if he can sing backup on his album (as on "Faith," from last year's Street Songs of Love), and whose present band the Sensitive Boys could smite the Stooges on a good day. Maybe it was more of a private joke than a private party.
At any rate, Escovedo and his three compadres did not let up from the first note of the opener, Street Songs' "This Bed's Getting Crowded." Aftermath kept waiting for Edwin McCain to walk over from the Music Hall next door and ask Al and the boys to turn it down because their blazing bourbonitis blues was drowning out his sensitive man-songs.
Escovedo seemed to take the sparse turnout in stride, calling Thursday a "mystery show" and saying how much he had always enjoyed playing Houston. He reminisced about The Ale House and The Island - which would take him back to his days in San Francisco punks The Nuns - and told a funny story about how he was supposed to deliver a roasted chicken and $50 bag of pot to the late rock critic Lester Bangs here one time.
"Lester Bangs never saw the pot."