Pete Yorn | 07.21.07

live_yornAs Yorn began "Strange Condition," my friend leaned over to me and gushed, "Isn't he pretty?" And yes, I admitted, he was.







Live on the Levee, St. Louis

Somewhat wary of both the Landing and the "Free Summer Concert" scene, it was with hesitation that I found myself at "Live on the Levee" featuring Pete Yorn. My fears of West County tourists and six-dollar Bud Lights were realized, though I was significantly rewarded with an excellent performance and a newfound respect for our city's most notable monument.

Admittedly, it was a perfect evening for an outdoor concert. The sky was clear and a gentle 70-degree breeze blew through the large crowd. Sandwiched in the small strip of land that lies between the Mississippi and the Arch, hundreds of people gathered around the stage or took seats on the stairs leading down to the Landing.

Backed by British band Minibar, Yorn played an energetic hour-plus set. Fans were treated to all their favorites, played with indulgent generosity to his audience. Yorn seemed to genuinely enjoy himself, and the audience returned the favor.

Introducing the song "Just Another," Yorn acknowledged that he is often compared to Jeff Buckley, and justifiably so. The similarities are obvious, not only in their singing and songwriting style, but also in their physical appearance. He went on to introduce the song "Just Another" by speaking about the inspiration he gathered from Buckley's well-known cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Jeff Buckley drowned in the Mississippi River in 1997.

Yorn also pulled out his own well-known cover song, this one Warren Zevon's "Splendid Isolation." Night had settled upon the stage, and the musicians' heads were haloed by stage lights and cigarette smoke. Moths and lightning bugs flew blindly. As Yorn began "Strange Condition," my friend leaned over to me and gushed, "Isn't he pretty?" And yes, I admitted, he was.

Yorn worked his way through "Crystal Village" and "Murray" before closing with "For Nancy." I stood behind the crowd, watching the blonde ponytails and red baseball caps nodding in time as Pete Yorn sang:

Convince yourself that it's alright
'Cos it already is
'Cos it already is"

And as he and the band left the stage, fireworks began across the river. Little did we know that 630 feet above our heads there were 200 people watching the same fireworks as us…although their enjoyment of the display was possibly hampered by the fact that they were trapped in the Arch, a power loss shutting down the trams to the top. However, the generators kicked in, and after a few hours the firefighters climbed their way up.

Around midnight all were rescued, and everyone was alright. | Morgan Davis

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