Acoustic Alchemy at The Birchmere

Acoustic Alchemy at the Birchmere

Acoustic Alchemy at the Birchmere

Every Fall, we in the Washington, DC area can count on several things:  cooler weather, colorful trees, and seeing the lads from the U.K. (and a couple from Maryland), aka Acoustic Alchemy.  This year, The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA was the last stop on the US tour, and we were so glad they made it.

The house was packed on this Sunday night and the crowd was definitely ready for some music.  It’s a known fact that the artists and audience feed off each other, and this night there was something special in the air.  From the first note of “Overnight Sleeper” to the encore of the classic “Mr. Chow,” there was an extra hop in their step, glint in their eye, and spark on their instruments.  Greg, Miles, Fred, Gary and GG were all having a terrific time, and the crowd responded in kind.

One of my favorite tunes played was “Jamaica Heartbeat.”  I am always in awe of how Greg and Miles seamlessly trade off the lead on this song.  It’s mind boggling.  Watching Fred White hover over his keyboards made me thing of Schroeder from Peanuts.  But Fred is so charismatic and can touch your heart with his light touch or wow you with a rousing keyboard solo.  Tonight was no exception.  On “Trailblazer,” from The Beautiful Game, GG killed it with a drum solo, and his brother, bassist Gary Grainger entertained the crowd with his scatting on “One for Shorty.”

We’ve heard “Ariane” played many times, and each time it’s different.  The foundation of the song stays the same, but the nuances change each time, making it different every time you hear it.  The lads also gave us “Sand on Her Toes,” “No Messin’,” “Stone Circle,” and “Tough Bundle” before leaving the stage, only to return for the ever popular, “Mr. Chow.”

It was another terrific show by this group.  The only problem was at the end, remembering that it will probably be another year and a few seasons passing before we see Acoustic Alchemy again.  But it gives us something to look forward to!