Bringing his set of sad songs and his trademark beard, William Fitzsimmons’ return to St. Louis was one show I was anticipating for some time. I took a chance on his last appearance at The Billiken Club in 2009 and it was a completely different concert experience for me, with the crowd completely silent and seated, and Fitzsimmons’ voice and guitar the only sound audible aside from an oscillating fan in the back of the room. This time around at The Firebird there was a little more buzz from the back and the occasional sound of a bottle tossed in the trash, but still his entire set held a quiet intimacy that feels rare amongst today’s concerts.
More pics and notes after the jump.
-As a photographer, shows like this are surprisingly the most intimidating environments for me. Every camera click is clearly heard and while you want to make sure you get enough usable shots, you never want to cross that fine line into being a distraction. A good exercise in making sure every shot is worth it.
-I forgot how funny William Fitzsimmons is. I mean, not just good at banter, but almost like you’re getting a short stand-up bit between each song, which is a fantastic offset against the very morose subject matter of his songs. I would totally pay to see a stand-up comedy set by him.
-There was a mother who wondered whether I happened to take a picture of her daughter upfront. While I’m sure kids don’t always want parental accompaniment, I kind of think that’s neat to occasionally see parents willing to take their kids to a show.
-His blazer outfit really worked well.
-Until writing this, I was unaware that he has a new album out called Derivatives, which apparently has a lot of electronic remixes of his songs. Sounds intriguing.