Once again, Michael Powers outlasts them all
By JOSHUA LIEBERSON
STATIC and FEEDBACK correspondent
This was to be my second show in as many days. But, the first order of business was to check out Comedy Central Park: a free comedy show at the Central Park Summerstage, headlined by Stephen Lynch. We had a great time there, as every comedian had us laughing in the crowd of 5,000 strong (as reported by those on the stage), and Stephen Lynch brought the place to constant applause and hysteria with various songs about AIDS testing, Special Ed, and the Dirty Sanchez, among others.
We grabbed the F train downtown to the West Village, and went inside just as Michael Powers was starting his first set. We grabbed a table up in the middle of the club as he was nailing a cover of the Jimi Hendrix cover “Hey Joe.” All seemed well in the world of Michael Powers. Last time I came by, he seemed rattled and off his game from his assistant failing to tune his guitars, which lead to long breaks between songs and a clearly-agitated Michael Powers. This time, Michael was in great spirits, ripping through song after song, some originals, some covers. The first set alone featured the Hendrix cover “Little Wing,” as well as “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)” and “Killing Floor.” This was blues and rock melded at its best, with Powers jamming in his own world from the comfort of his chair, as well as special guests, none of whom I was particularly familiar with.
Between the first and second set, I went over to purchase his second album, Prodigal Son, which I had yet to obtain. In the process, I was told to hang out for a minute, as Powers would sign my CD and have about a 5 minute chat about upcoming gigs and such.
Powers then came out by himself, playing a mesmerizing song I had never heard. He introduced it as something completely new that was to be part of a Warner Bros. movie. A guest guitarist and friend of the band came up and played right in front of us, nailing his jams with near perfection and really energizing the very mixed crowd. Included in the bunch were the standard couples nearly making out, and of course, the guy everyone loves … the middle aged man with too much to drink who can’t help but dance and do bizarre things. This guy humbled his wife, as she watched him dance … and when his shoes mysteriously fell off, he clutched them in his hand and danced barefoot, and seemed to feature his sneakers in the dance. Gotta love these blues clubs on a Friday night.
A very fun moment in the night came at the conclusion of the guest guitarist’s jam, when he looked at us (my friend and I) and asked us how he did. We then gave him a strong high five, and he joyously left the stage.
But during the middle of the third set at 3:15 in the morning (Michael Powers can go all night, despite his apparent age), we had nothing left and had to leave. In the four years that I have been occasionally hitting up the random Michael Powers show, I’ve never made it to the end. It is like going to that random southern tavern that dares you to eat their 7-pound burger, but tells you it is free if you can finish it. Then when you get to the end of the burger, the patrons all laugh at you because you left some fries. Michael Powers’ third set is the fries. And we can’t finish them. We were thoroughly exhausted and elated from what had just transpired for our $10 and two-drink minimum as it was, and headed on home in that great state after you witness a fantastic show, with that sense of feeling like all is right for that moment.