Gwen’s been a fan of Oliver Rajamani for quite some time, so when she found out he was having a CD release party at One World Theater, she figured it would be a good show and a good excuse to see what that venue is like for a relatively low ticket price.
The show was pretty good. I have mixed feelings about Rajamani’s music: he’s good at what he does, and I do enjoy some of his stuff, but some of it gets into these aimless, hypnotic jams that don’t do much for me. But when he’s good, he’s good. He had a good band assembled around him, too, including an acquaintance, Steve Marcum (one of the original instigators behind the full-moon drum circle). He also had Nagavalli Medicharla, a female vocalist, on stage with him. She wasn’t in the show much, but she was one of the high points–she has a voice that really makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I’m looking forward to hearing the album, as I expect it will probably edit the rambling bits out.
Neither Gwen nor I had ever been to the theater before. While the grounds are great, and the building is really interesting from the outside, the room itself is no great shakes. The acoustic seemed fine, and there didn’t seem to be many bad seats in the house, but we were expecting something a little more interesting. Gwen pointed out that the wings set up on stage were obvious afterthoughts that didn’t fit in with the rest of the building at all.
After the show, there was a reception downstairs, where I ran into one of my Japanese teachers from back in the day and one of my fellow fire-freaks.