During Gnecco’s performances such trivial factoids of whether he ever played with Buckley, or whether he was in fact Buckley’s guitar tech are put on hold. These intimate acoustic shows, as they were this past week at the Knitting Factory and the Hotel Café, are holy ground for lovers of Gnecco’s music. As Gnecco’s initial notes leave his lips, mouths stop working and eyes and ears open to only the one voice upon the stage. With the comedy that has become of modern Christianity, it is no wonder that the crowd has gone to exercise their sense of reverence on such an occasion as a rock show, where the preacher actually speaks to the heart of those in attendance. This religiousness comes from the fact that this genre’s savior has already been lost once, through the tragic passing of Buckley himself.
Of course it isn’t fair to say that those that waited for hours outside of the Hotel Café are just in line to get their Buckley fix. Both Gnecco’s and Buckley’s music are far different machines that share a common essence found in the stunning vocals and lack of pretense in their delivery. Over the last few years, with the restructuring of the band, writing some of the his strongest songs to date, and teaming with Rick Rubin to record the yet unfinished third album, Gnecco seems to have found the sound that he has been searching for all these years.
Each of the new songs, only a handful of which were performed this past week, shows Gnecco more grounded in his place than ever before. The live gems “God Only Wants You”, “Mercy”, and “I Ran Away To Tell The World,” portray a more mature Gnecco, one that isn’t hiding behind his voice but rather allowing the songs to speak for themselves. Some of the older songs off of Distorted Lullabies and Precious, such as “Red Colored Stars” and “Meet Me in the Tower,” during which Gnecco was joined onstage by the braver of the talent in the crowd, contain a special character that isn’t as prevalent in their recorded versions.
With the strength of his new songs and the time that has been spent in the album’s preparation it is no wonder that much anticipation surrounds Ours’ upcoming release. With Gnecco taking some time off to refocus after the recent passing of his cousin, one can see that he longs to be out in front of the crowd again. When that time comes, The Content will be the first ones to let you know.
[mp3] Ours – God Only Wants You (Live)
[mp3] Ours – I Ran Away To Tell The World (Live)
[mp3] Ours – Mercy (Live)