“This is for our friends here who came all the way from Germany, New Jersey”

Jesse Malin and the St. Mark’s Social – Zeche Carl, Essen; November 18th, 2010

My friend N. and I had gotten there early as usual, but we would not have needed to. All in all there were around 30 people who made it to Zeche Carl in Essen to see Jesse Malin & the St.Marks Social. Even the band arrived after we did and we watched them setting up stage and soundchecking. They were not bothered by us being tere at all, they even said hello to us when they arrived, but the staff asked us to step out until they officially opened.

We got back in and took our spots in front row – all alone. Everyone else kept a respectful distance to the stage. It’s a strange phenomenon, especially at small gigs that people seem to be somehow afraid of getting close. Me, I’m loving it and I alos think it’s nicer for the people on stage to actually be sble to see their audience instead of looking at an empty space.

So far  I had seen Jesse only as a solo artists so I was looking forward to seeing him with a band. First up was Richard Bacchus though for support and warm-up.  He made very listenable music just with his voice and guitar. I quite liked it and I liked his stories too. He assured us he was not as bad as his songs might suggest, but actually a nice guy and I believed him. 🙂 He tried hard to get everyone interested, but nobody came closer and the reactions of the audience were anything but enthusiastic. I guess there’s not much to be expected from an audience of about 30 people. It was still fun.


Long lost derby
Perfect example
Age of confusion
Terrible love
How you gonna ball
Capital offender
Bank Robber

Then Jesse and the guys came on and if they were disappointed by such a small audience they did not show it. Jesse kept begging us to come closer to the stage, but all except for the two of us kept their distance. Still they sang and played their hearts out. I didn’t kow all of the songs, but I enjoyed them. He played everything from punky to quiet stuff and told so many stories in-between.

It was entertaining and intimate, especially when he jumped of stage and asked us to sit down with him on the floor for one song. I wonder if he’d done that woth a bigger audience as well. It felt like such a special treat. I loved all the songs I knew and enjoyed the ones I had not heard before. The band was great and the stories were everything from toughtful to funny.

At one point Jesse went over to the bar, asking for a shot of tequila, but somehow the barkeeper seemed to have trouble understanding what he wanted. Thanks to a caring fan, he got some Tequila anyway and continued the show after he had downed it.

The first encore, ‘Broken Radio’ was dedicated to N. and me with the words quoted above. It meant a lot to me, being one of my favorite songs. One more song after and the concert was over. All the guys were out for a chat and autographs afterwards and we took the time taking to thema little before we left. We certainly had an enjoyable evening and all those who didn’t go there missed a great show.

(it was written down like this, I have no clue if the songs were all played)

Burning the Bowery
Hotel Columbia
Prisoners of Paradise
Disco Ghetto
Burn the Bridge
Queen of the Underworld
Mona Lisa
Bastards of Young
Instant Karma
The Archer
Black Boombox
All the way from Moscow
Black Haired Girl
Almost grown
Broken Radio
In the Modern World

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