State Radio - Chadwick Stokes

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Neal Kalra was at the Lincoln, RI living room show this past weekend and sent back this report, as well as the set list:

I'll start be reiterating what a lot of people have said about these shows. They are amazing experiences. Chad steps out from behind the electric guitars and microphones and performs barebones. His comfort with the crowd, whether responding to requests or explaining some confusing lyrics is awe inspiring. He is, for lack of better words, an actual person. He holds his fans in high regards, will work hard to play songs that he may not know all the lyrics to, and will hold conversations with each fan well after the show.

The biggest difference between this living room show and other shows I've been to is the emotion and clarity Chad brings to the songs. Part way into the set, Chad played Sudan. This version is quite possibly the best version of that song I have ever experienced. The passion and the vocal range Chad demonstrated was amazing. I don't know what changes when Chad is in a living room but it suits him very well.

What's also quite remarkable is how many lyrics I finally understood. About a third of the set was new material and I was never able to grasp as many lyrics in new songs as I did that night. It's also very interesting to hear Chad tell the stories behind some of the lyrics. One of his new songs is called Prison Blue Eyes. As a young man Chad believed that changing the small things in his life could have profound repercussions. "I'm gonna blink twice when I was only going to blink eight", was a line I could never figure out. Now it makes perfect sense (kind of). This is the power of a living room show. Chad also played a song he had only played a few times before. It's titled "I Want You Like a Seatbelt". Apparently the melody for the song came from something hummed in passing to his children. The seatbelt is a metaphor for some possibly adult only themes. Hopefully we'll hear more of it soon. For now living room shows are your only chance. It was also nice to just get some insight on how songs are progressing. For those of you who know "Our Lives, Our Times" you should be happy to hear that the intro for the album has been modified. It's significantly more complicated and way less Iggy Pop.

The setlist was a good mix of State Radio, Dispatch and new and old Chadwick Stokes material. Each performance was met with a thunderous applause and the occasional bark of approval from Murphy, our wonderful hosts' Jack Russel Terrier. The living room felt like home. There were cookies, sandwiches, and cheese plates everywhere you went. Our hosts even set up a small charging station for those of us with itchy smart phone fingers. Many thanks to Steph and her parents, Peg and Dave, for putting together such a comfortable and fantastic night.

Setlist:

01. All My Possessions C
02. Prison Blue Eyes *
03. Mr. Larkin SR
04. Dead Badger *
05. Sudan SR
06. Walter *
07. Flying Horses D
08. Pine Needle Tea *
09. Open Up D
10. Our Lives, Our Times *
11. The General D
12. Riddle in Londontown SR
13. Coffe and Wine C
14. Indian Moon - Gunship SR
15. Last Ditch SR
16. I Want You Like a Seatbelt *
17. I Love You Army C

Monday February 24th

Recording Update

Chad is flying to Los Angeles this afternoon to record a few songs for the new album with Noah Georgeson. More album updates coming soon.

A big thanks to DeeDee Scalzetti for going to the Indy living room gig and sending this back:

"Walking into the house that was hosting the Indianapolis stop on the Chadwick Stokes living room tour, it was evident every person knew just how special of a night awaited them. My friends Mikayla, Joey and I were warmly welcomed by our host and told to make ourselves at home. We proceeded to set down our box of wine and fill our cups. We walked into the living room and took a seat on the floor, facing a small stool that stood next to the piano. The air around us was filled with happy chatter, good energy, and contented anticipation. Every available spot was soon taken up, but we had room for one more. A guitar clad Chad swiftly entered the room and took his seat in front of the fifty or so expectant faces. The man we were all gathered to see was humbly sitting right in front of us. His presence filled the teeming room like no one else’s could.

Chad opened the show with Keepsake, a State Radio staple, and immediately had many fans singing or humming along. He proceeded through a set list that rotated from his solo projects to Dispatch to State Radio and back again, including Bang Bang, Prison Blue Eyes, and Camilo. He peppered the show with personal anecdotes and jokes that kept everyone’s attention captivated between songs. The modesty with which he speaks about himself and his music is truly amazing for someone who is unquestionably a musical and lyrical genius.

Nearing the end of the show, Chad posed the most impossible question any fan of his ever had to answer; Elias or the General? The votes seemed dead even, but Chad softly started strumming the familiar tones of Elias. The clear crowd favorite had every attendee singing along. As soon as Elias was concluded and the clapping died down, we all at once began requesting he play The General anyway. Chad obligingly played the other crowd favorite to the delight of every ear in the room. He closed the show with Indian Moon, a personal favorite of mine and of many of those around me. Halfway through, he surprised everyone by incorporating verses of Circles Around the Sun and Gunship Politico, another personal favorite, before bringing the song back to Indian Moon to wrap up the night.

After the show, Chad stuck around to meet everyone who had come to see him perform. His calm demeanor coupled with the incredible compassion that simply emanates from his being make him a remarkably interesting person to speak with. Chad has an incredible way of making it seem like you are an old friend of his that he loves catching up with.

This living room concert experience was unlike any other. Chad’s innovatively interactive performance style creates an enchantingly engaging atmosphere that makes for a night no one is likely to forget soon. I have yet to come across another musician who truly appreciates and cares about the people who support them as much as Chad. Everyone went home last night in a state of awe of what we just had the privilege to witness. Chad’s music has led me through many of life’s lessons and I have no doubt his music will get me through countless more. I think I speak for everyone when I say, Chad, thank you for doing what you do. Hopefully it won’t be too long before another Chadwick Stokes Living Room Tour is upon us."

David Charles was at the living room concert in Lewis, OH and sent back this report:

As I unpacked my wine in the open kitchen which Chad would later note made the setting of this living room tour all the more perfect, our gracious host, Erin, said to me, “Look at this guy. He’s probably going to stand in the front and block everyone.” She then raise her arms in a gesture I can only assume was her impression of a monster . I felt immediately welcome. Indeed I counted at least 6 people who were (by my estimation) over 6’3”, and there may have been some genuine concern of obstructed views. However, by the time Chad made his way to the “biggest hearth I have ever performed in from of” everyone was situated so that they could see. He sang “Sudan” about what he would do if he was ten feet tall, and the show had begun.

If you were to only listen to Chad’s (non-live) albums, what you would likely miss most is the fact that he is a naturally funny guy. Of course, he is a storyteller. It seems that the serious stories get turned into songs, and at this show, as at others, he (and the audience) take pleasure in Chad’s sharing of the funny stories. Whether it was the use of pronouns in music (why can’t a man sing from a woman’s perspective?) or the disturbing nature of refusing juice (“Hey man, can I talk to you for a second?”), laughter resounded nearly as loudly as applause at times.

Chad asked the audience several times for requests, and they went deep into Chad’s discography, including tracks which had never been released. Several of the songs turned into sing-a-longs, especially, it seems, those with the most intricate lyrics. We learned that Chad’s new album is nearing completion, and we heard several of his new songs which did not disappoint. My only regret is that I didn’t open the cupcakes I had brought until after the show was over. I hope that, if they were not eaten by concert goes as they left, our hosts enjoy them.

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