september 2000 - the diary

Monday 25th

I get up early and head north, since not only do I need to be in Portland, ME in time for this evenings show, but I've also planned to pay the White Mountains in New Hampshire a visit on the way up there. After a quick stop for breakfast in Newburyport I drive inland and pretty soon the landscape starts changing - the trees are still all over the place but conifers start to dominate. The sun shines from a blue sky and with temperatures in the 70's it's simply a gorgeous day. As I reach the White Mountains area I realize that there should be time enough to visit one of the famous tourist attractions - Mt. Washington, which happens to be a 6000 ft mountain with a road all the way to the top! I must admit that my feelings about this are a bit ambiguous, and they're not helped by the fact that after paying the entrance fee you receive a bumper sticker saying "This car climbed..."! On the other hand - the road was built more than hundred years ago, and it does give me a chance to make a very unusual journey in just a few hours.

And it is indeed very special to see how the vegetation adapts itself to altitude as you drive up there. When the conditions are as best you're supposed to be able to see 5 states and Canada from the top, and today is certainly a very clear day so maybe that's what I saw - amazing view anyway.

Nearly 6.000 ft down and a few hours drive east I find the city of Portland and eventually I also manage to locate my motel, having time for a short rest before heading downtown.

 


The Skinny is very well named, since it's a really small club, at least when it comes to the width of the main room. The floor slopes gently towards the stage so everybody gets a good view. Great place to watch an artist that you respect this much. It really feels like the whole audience (maybe 200 all in all?) has the same feelings about her, and it seems to make Juliana feel very confident and relaxed.

I really can't find words to describe how good it feels watching a full length Juliana show under these circumstances. Voice really outstanding, she can still play the guitar for sure and then there's those brilliant songs of hers....

Most of the material is pretty recent, the oldest song being Spin the Bottle - which is all she plays from BWYA. From OE we get "Fleur de lys", and that french song is incredibly strong when played live. A bit of technical difficulties and power outs - but hey that only adds to the atmosphere. Some of the messing around leads to this comment: "We've been off the road for a couple of months, so this is the first real show we've played for a while - can you tell?". When introducing "Baby gets high" she dedicates it to Lance, who helps with guitars and stuff. Just in the last moment she adds with a wry smile "Dedicated to him - not about him!".

She ends it all with a truly beautiful song which is all new to me. Since then I've learned that it's a cover of "Tomorrow never comes" by Dot Allison, and it's certainly an amazing song to send people home on.

The club itself does it's best to send us home in the best possible way by putting "Make it home" on the stereo, as we walk out the door. Oh what a perfect day!

 

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