On Friday night Sam Quinn rolled into Local 506, without his band Japan Ten, to serenade the crowd with the heartbreaking songs from his solo album The Fake That Sunk a Thousand Ships.
Quinn's voice filled the room throughout the night, backed by the subtle support of an upright bass and electric guitar. The songs shined in the sparse arrangements, but the extra embellishments of the album were certainly missed.
The somber songs were broken up during the night by Quinn's bizarre, yet charming sense of humor. He took the stage wearing cut off shorts with black socks and at one point, when about to sit behind the keyboard, asked people not to look up his shorts (check out the photos below).
After the song "Worker's Playtime," the band broke out into the Juicy Fruit gum jingle. He also commented on Michigan being the Florida of the midwest. "In Michigan, the crosswalks flash walk, and then they flash Michigan," he deadpanned. It's one of those situations where you just had to be there.
The set was great, even though Quinn says he almost didn't make the gig. He said they hit numerous storms on their drive in and he said they considered prolonging their lives by stopping their trek, but they kept going so we could all experience his great music. For risking his life, the crowd thanked him with boisterous applause.
Quinn closed the night with a pair of solo tunes, "River" and then a cover of Boston's "Rock and Roll Band," peppered with lyrics from Sugar Ray's "Every Morning." It sounds bizarre but he really killed it, capping off a great night.
Carrboro singer-songwriter Josh Moore opened the show with a fantastic solo set of folky tunes. His set was excellent and I recommend checking him out when he plays Slims in Raleigh on Friday, June 4.
Sam Quinn set list
Juicy Fruit jingle
Good To Be Home
Late the Other Night
Rock and Roll Band (w/ bits of "Every Morning")
[all photos by Kevin Norris]