August 31, 2009
From Creative Loafing's Tampa Calling blog:
The last time I was at The Ritz was for the fateful Corrosion of Conformity show where (4) people were stabbed with (1) ultimately dying. I’d heard a lot about the near million dollar renovation the venue had gone through prior to reopening a year (really? it’s been a whole year?) ago but I had not seen it yet. What better chance than for their one year anniversary free show featuring one of my favorite songwriters, Grayson Capps?
The venue itself is beautiful and the acoustics are dramatically improved. Granted, I am judging the latter on one show but Grayson and the Stumpknockers were loud and they sounded great and the reconfigured ball room is infinitely more conducive to live music than it used to be. While this isn’t supposed to be a review of the venue I wanted to mention it cause they did a fantastic job and I look forward to seeing more shows there.
Now, on to Grayson.
Grayson Capps and the Stumpknocker’s took the stage promptly at 8:00 to a sparce (and I am being generous) crowd but what the crowd lacked in numbers it made up for in enthusiasm. One particular concertgoer opted to take advantage of the short bar lines and vacant dance floor to practice his handstands. Grayson & Co. seemed unfazed by the amount of empty floor space between each patron and delivered a tight performance hitting on every song the crowd wanted to hear even going so far as to take requests during their second set. I was pleasantly surprised at how much more of rock band they became in the live environment.
Hopefully the lack of people will not leave a bad taste in the bands mouth and they’ll return some day in the future.