Concert Review: Joel Plaskett, Rusted Root, March 9, 9:30 Club, Washington DC

joel plaskett
Theme of the night at the Joel Plaskett/Rusted Root show: Good looooookin’.

The first thing that struck me when I walked into the 9:30 Club was just how darn good lookin’ Joel Plaskett actually is. The Nova Scotian musician is slim, smiling, and super well dressed (all-denim Canadian tux for the win!). His set was simple (both in the fact that he had no props and his banter was limited but friendly) and his music was clean and crisp feeling. My favorite tracks came toward the end when he played Nowhere With You (which starts with “hey good looking, why the frown?”) and Wishful Thinking. Since the show, though, I’ve looked up several of his tracks and, honestly, kind of love them all. Top picks include Sailors Eyes and Fashionable People. The artist is currently touring promoting Scrappy Happiness (such a good album title!) and is definitely worth a try if you haven’t heard him before … or even if you have.

The main act, Rusted Root, only added to the good lookin’ theme. First, the band was impeccably attired for the aged (or is experienced a better, more PC term?) jam band profile. Dreadlocks, aviator sunglasses, shiny-red-vinyl vests, and rasta hats were all sported with perfectly casual ease. Second, the inter-generational crowd they drew to the 9:30 Club had some notably amazing looks going on themselves: my favorites were the bobsey-twin 50-year old couple wearing matching Rusted Root T-shirts, cowboy hats, and plaid jeans. The show (not just the look) was great too. The band was perfectly past its peak if that makes sense: they exuded ease and familiarity on stage while also catering to the older crowd they attract by playing a 7:20 headliner set for the early show (Django Django played later at the 9:30 Club). Crowd favorites included Food and Creative Love as well as the band’s most famous song, Send me on my Way, which made for an awesome encore. The band is out promoting its newest album, The Movement, which came out October 2012.

Great line-up, great show, great Saturday night.

Posted on by halley in Concerts