The Circle Bar
February 17, 2004
There’s always an underbelly in New Orleans. A woman was killed on the Muses parade route Wednesday night, and The Geraniums played at The Circle Bar Tuesday night. Of course, The Geraniums can't be compared to the taking of a human life, but they didn't exactly go with the party atmosphere, either.
Their music was beautiful in its sadness. Every song dealt with a problem. The tone of the tunes depended on whether the lyrics bowed to the weight of human existence or turned away in defiance or anger. The simplicity of the resigned numbers was haunting.
The Irish vocalist/poet with gray streaks in his wavy hair wore a tweed coat. He turned away beads offered from a drunk, emotionally confused audience member and sang breathily with his face contorted, eyes closed. On the other side of the room was the violinist/harmonica player, a bald-headed genial giant. He wore a white undershirt. He held up song-titled poster-boards before the first two songs. He smiled a lot, but he could be moved to hold himself and act out the lyrics of a sad song. In the middle, the drummer kept things tight on his elemental kit, the bassist sat stoic in his talent, and the electric guitarist wasn't afraid to stomp his foot and thrash around.
The music was mostly reserved, but every once and a while, the guys rocked out.
So, if you want to get low or shake your fist at the world, The Geraniums won’t let you down. Maybe with their music, they’ll just slowly seduce and bring you there.