I’ve had a soft spot for the Haden sisters since I received That Dog‘s eponymous release from Geffen Records back in the 90’s. So it was a no-brainer to attend this special show: especially, in light of the recent passing of Jazz legend Charlie Haden, their father. This show is one a many of shows The Skirball Cultural Center promotes throughout the summer as part of their Sunset Concert series. I knew these women were accomplished musician and singers and I was ready for a stunning performance. I was not disappointed!
The band backing the triplets was composed of seasoned musicians. John Konesky was on acoustic guitar, Kris Karlson manned up on the mandolin while Drew Taubenfeld handled the electric guitar and Gabe Noel plucked on the stand-up bass. Petra, Rachel and Tanya held the center of the stage. The stage presentation was considerably different from Nightmare and the Cat’s performance for Gary Baseman’s “The Door Is Always Open” last year at the Skirball Cultural Center, then stage was set diagonal to the courtyard and it was standing room only. The Haden Triplets show was set to the back of the courtyard and seating was offered. I think that’s the difference between a rock show and a more acoustic Appalachian inspired folk set. The triplets, splendidly bathed in light with band mates holding their spots to their sides elegantly delivered the songs with their amazing vocals talent. The audience was reverently transfixed as the young ladies wound through their beautifully sung set. The songs they set on fire with exquisite harmonies were: Slowly I’m Falling, When I Stop Dreaming, Take Me Back and Try Me One More Time, and a cute ditty, as they put it, their rap song, The Billy Bee Song. It was all seriously beautiful singing and appropriately melancholic. The triplets were relaxed enough to share thoughts at points and when referencing their mom and dad there was a moment of retrospective mourning with a few sniffles. When they spoke of Charlie, their dad, it was with a great deal of respect for his music. In one of their offhanded remarks they referenced to his reverence and love for Ornette Coleman. These were moving moments for them and you could see in their faces. The Haden Triplets closed out their set with It’s Raining. The audience showed their appreciation with a strong round of applauses as the evening was closing on an out standing performance by three remarkable and talented women.
Photo Gallery and more After the Break
I decided to hang out a little longer because I wanted to shoot these talented women together as sisters. My practice is to let a little time roll by to allow access of the fans and the steam from the performance to dissipate. Eventually, I sauntered to the back corner of the courtyard. As I rounded the chairs I was jolted by the sight of one of my most favorite entertainers: comedian, actor and rockin’ music fanatic, Jack Black! I was surprised to see him there despite the knowledge, somewhere buried deep in my subconscious, I knew he was married to one of the triplets. He was close to Tanya but was engaged in some serious conversation, as only Jack Black can! When the moment was ripe I introduced myself and asked for a selfie. What a guy! I told him I wasn’t good at selfies and he offered to take control. I bent down because I’m tall and he strongly suggested that I stand at my full height. I did and Jack made magic. We spoke of music for a bit. He liked my Sand Devils t-shirt and wanted to see them play. I mentioned they may play in the late fall in San Diego. The conversation turned to That Dog and I could feel his passion for the music. Jack mentioned the resonating moment on Totally Crushed Out! near the end of the song, Rock Star, where you could hear the deep yearning moment in the vocal at the close of the song. It was a palpable moment as Jack waxed on of that ephemeral moment captured in the recording. Call me weird if you want, but while all of this is going on my mind was playing That Dog’s “Family Function“! This night was all about family! It was a night of moving and stirring songs embedded in a mutual consciousnesses. It was a splendid way to spend a Thursday evening! August has two more concerts planned at the Skirball Cultural Center as part of its Sunset Concerts series you may not want to miss. Flaco Jimenez and Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs on the 14th and Yiddish Tang Club on the 21st. It’s a great concert experience and something the whole family can enjoy.