On Friday night, I saw Mike Doughty at the Highline Ballroom and Saturday night was Widespread Panic at the United Palace Theater up in Washington Heights. Monday night, I saw Jedi Mind Tricks at Brooklyn's Southpaw and on Thursday night I took in Kathleen Edwards' performance at the Irving Plaza's Fillmore. All four were fantastic and there are few other cities where you could take in a Patron-soaked hip hop battle among the company of hordes of hoodie-ed fans, while switching gears to a girl-and-her-guitar style Canadian folk show, complete with single-chick angst and emo boys in plaid hipster button-downs.
As for Doughty and Panic, the former was a raucous romp through old Soul Coughing material and impromptu scatting on the mike while Doughty sharpened his sarcastic wit between songs. The man's a killer songwriter and clearly has an infinite fountain of clever one liners to suit any occassion. Especially drunken fan occassions. Panic was the complete opposite: an expansive, old theater with more room than Yosemite and enough bathrooms for a one bedroom apartment. Nonetheless, the music was a stellar mix of groovy jam rock and the crowd really made the night. Would do it again in a second. So, looking at the barren wasteland that once was my bank account, I'm still glad I got to take in so many different genres within a week but, next time, I'll probably do a little more pre-gaming and a little less credit card-waving at the bar.