Ari Hest was in Asheville last night, performing at the Grey Eagle. The show was fantastic. Turnout was pathetic.
I’m not sure why the turnout was horrible. Maybe because people in this town don’t know good music when it slams them in the face? No. It’s because not everyone is willing to give someone “new” a chance. (It also has to do with the fact it’s Bele Chere week, colleges aren’t in session, and the dynamics of the show changed a few days earlier – Ari was an opener, and then the headliner cancelled, so he became the headliner.) Needless to say, I overheard someone (a fan) telling Ari that the Grey Eagle basically wasn’t well known in the area, and he didn’t need to be playing there.
How many people in this town know about the Grey Eagle? Ummmm…I’ve been going there for years – it’s gotten way better with the new management. They’ve been a well known establishment for at least 12 years.
Back to the show….Tom Hamilton opened. He was a little weirded out by the amount of people there, and seemed kind of nervous when he talked to the crowd, but he was still a good performer (so much, that I bought his cd…he’ll be recording a new cd, so I’m pretty excited about that.)
Ari came on around 9:20. He blew me away. His voice is so soothing, calming….and, he looks as if he was in another world when he performed. I swore I wasn’t going to get hooked on another musician, unless they were going to be performing in Asheville. I’ve heard of Ari for years, but this was only his second visit to WNC – and I’m sorry I didn’t get hooked sooner.
Tara joined me at the show. I think she’s hooked now too 😉 We talked to Ari after the show…hopefully he’ll be back very soon. Otherwise, I may be travelling to New York to check him out.