Feb 26, 2010
Marc Cohn and Kristina Train at Space on 2/21/10
I had planned to see Marc in 2005 but he cancelled the show following his near death experience following his receipt of a bullet to the head during an attempted carjacking after a Denver concert. He is back and is fantastic. With his shows, it is hard to decide whether you want him to sing or banter. He is hilarious. His timing and quick wit is unsurpassed. He joked around about the time in his life when he wrote "Thunderbird". He was in his Thunderbird with a girl, in the backseat, and the song "Levon" came on the radio. All he could think about was how much he loved that song. He forgot about the girl. He quipped something like: "It was at that time that I realized that I was a musician and songwriter. I also had to consider that I might be gay". Let me start out by telling you that SPACE in Evanston is an amazing venue. Although we did not eat there, the restaurant looked very appealing. You are allowed to bring in pizza to the show if you desire. The sound was great although Marc's guitarist was getting some unexplained (for a while) feedback. I would recommend paying extra for a reserve table. They have few chairs and you could be standing for two hours. For mellow concerts like this one, I need a chair. After complaining a bit (OK, a lot), we were offered seats at a high back table to the side of the stage. So back to the show: the show was sold out and Marc was flawless. Assuming you like his style, he should not be missed. His guitarist, Shane Fontaine (yes that rhymes!) has performed with Sting and others. Now as for the warm up: Kristina Train, hailing from Nashville, was outstanding. Her voice was part Patti Griffin and part Feist. Her first CD, "Spilt Milk" has all of her own songs each of which I wanted to sing along with (well I do like to sing). She also played the violin to accompany herself on one song. My only criticism is that she should play guitar. Her stage presence could use some assistance. Having a guitar around her neck could make the awkwardness less uncomfortable. Her CD is available through itunes for $7.99. I highly recommend seeing her if she returns to Chicago. Marc's next music project has a working title "Listening Booth" which will feature remakes of 12 or so songs from the year 1970. Overall, I would give the show and venue a 4 out of 5 guitar rating. The reduction of 1 guitar could be due to the seating situation, so get a table!