Music Nelson Is Nelson
posted by December 8 at 0:01 AMon
Sean Nelson is performing with an upscale rock orchestra concoction (including the quirked-up band “Awesome”) at Town Hall tonight, Friday night.
For those who know Sean as the Johnny Lydon-meets-Elton John frontman for Harvey Danger, you are about to be blown away by Mr. Nelson’s true talents.
I’m not saying the guy doesn’t put out and put on a devastating rock show (“Ooooh-woooh-hooo/Woooh-hoooo!”), I’m just saying Sean has always been a showman in the masterful Artie Shaw sense that calls for Town Hall, more than he’s been a low-tech Iggy Pop tramp at home in the rock clubs. And with a giant orchestra and pitch-perfect singing voice at his disposal, I’m guaranteeing Mr. Nelson will shine in a coming-out performance like you’ve never seen. This is Mr. Nelson’s moment.
The conceit is great. It’s Nelson sings Nilsson. Never heard of Nilsson? Exactly. Harry Nilsson was a popular singer/songwriter in the late ’60s and early ’70s (Coconut, The Point). In 1970, Nilsson did a record of songs by the not-very-well-known Randy Newman—called Nilsson Sings Newman.
I was happy to see Sean and HD go around once again late last year and earlier this year. But: As thrilling as those shows were (and even with some better-than-the-original-stuff, new songs like “Cream and Bastards Rise”), the finely tuned gigs always seemed like digitally remastered takes of an earlier era. I was always left wanting to know (and hear) where Sean Nelson was today.
Well, he’s at Town Hall onstage with a 24-piece orchestra. Do not miss this. (7 pm, $12, all ages, Eighth Ave and Seneca St in First Hill.)