David Gray played a couple local private concerts in 2009, but appears on his first proper tour back through San Diego in a few years.
I remember the first time I heard "Babylon" on the radio. I was driving home from work, listening to KPRI, and I was stuck in traffic. "Babylon" was playing on the radio and I remember the hair on my arm rising. I also remember paying attention to the station, waiting to hear the DJ announce who was singing the song. It was David Gray, and besides not caring that I was stuck in traffic, I recall running out and buying his CD immediately.
In the many years since then, Gray has released several albums, and I've seen him countless times, including at least three different "private listener" concerts and meet-and-greets, and his voice still has this effect on me that gives me chills when he hits a certain key or sings a certain phrase, or when his voice hits that gravelly place. Tonight he performs at the Open Sky Theater at Harrah's Rincon Casino, and though it will be my first time at the venue, I have no doubt that his voice will still have that effect on me ... making it totally worth that crazy drive out to Valley Center.
If you're sticking around central San Diego, check out a night of burl at the Casbah, some local indie rock at the Tin Can, the Johnny Cash covers of Cash'd Out at the Belly Up, or any number of other shows going on around town. Just keep in mind that any show marked with the Awesome Fest tag is sold out.
Saturday, Sept. 4:
David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, Tift Merritt @ Open Sky Theatre, Harrah's Rincon Casino
The Long and Short of It, Rats Eyes, Terremoto, Gloomsday, in the Red @ Casbah
The Moviegoers (7-inch release), Roxy Jones, Bryan Bangerter and the Whole Shebang @ Tin Can
Awesome Fest, featuring the Soviettes, Chinese Telephones, Amen and the Hell Yeahs, Mexico City Rollers, Sin Remedio, the Bertos, Broloaf @ Soda Bar
Awesome Fest, featuring Toys That Kill, Know Your Saints, Everready, Be My Doppelganger, City Mouse, French Exit, Lauren Measure @ Eleven
Awesome Fest, featuring the Crumbs, Madison Bloodbath, Credentials, Slow Death, White Night, Republican Dick Army @ U-31
Awesome Fest, featuring RVIVR, Shark Pants, New Creases, Homewreckers, URTC @ The Office
Cash'd Out, Pushin rope, Off 0the Wagon @ Belly Up