Reading the following background info will give the images proper time to download for this photo-review story... so please be patient. And if my server dumps off, or tells you it's busy, please come back when traffic conditions are better. Servers get hammered ocasionally too... just like traffic on a city-interstate during rush-hour. It's the simple reality of graphic-intensive pages like this one.

As a longtime Aimee Mann fan, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to finally see her live. So I didn't. Her recently released CD LOST IN SPACE only confirms she hasn't lost a step as one of the very few superior songwriters around today. Although I think I'M WITH STUPID is a slightly better album, LOST IN SPACE may, in fact, be stronger as a complete work. LOST IN SPACE has a darker tone, both lyrically and musically, so perhaps it's unfair to compare them so soon. Regardless... they're both excellent.

It had been unseasonably warm and humid all day, and I was lucky to get to the theater just as the sky opened up with a major lightshow and downpour; others weren't so lucky. A good omen for me.

I sat in the first row of the balcony. Audio nuts like myself know that the best sound in most small venues is up and away from the direct front of the stage, although I'll admit you can see the performers much better from down in front. The only venues I feel are worth going to these days are exactly the size and caliber as the one in Northampton's re-furbished Calvin Theatre. Why people spend hundreds of dollars to sit in huge outdoor sports-arenas with awful acoustics, and hundreds of yards from the action is beyond me. Talk about lost-in-space!

I'd contemplated recording the concert, but decided against it, and went in armed only with my digi-cam. This turned out to be a good decision as I was not that impressed with the overall sound. Any recording I would have made would have been poor despite my having great seats (audiowise), and despite my homebuilt condensor pre-amps. I'll go into this shortcoming in more detail on the next page.

I decided to upload a few of the images here because I've found fans (of many different activities) seem to appreciate viewing photos online... if it's done right. Hopefully most will find this OK. I'm just an amateur type of photographer, and this is hardly my best work. I didn't bring any of my tele-lenses for this concert, and it was tough shooting in complete available light (I thought shooting in dimly-lit high-school gyms was a challenge). But it should give a taste of "Aimee-live" for those who haven't seen her perform before... and refresh memories for those who have. I'm hoping that's good enough.

- click Aimee below to go to the main page-


Mask and Muse-graphic by jackson