I can't remember if they played "All of a Tremble," at either St. Christopher show that I experienced this past weekend. It's the song that I've been most consumed by since purchasing the CD collection of all of the singles from the Sarah years at the show, but I just can't remember if we heard it at either show. I feel like we must have, but I just can't be sure. I know that we heard "You Deserve More Than a Maybe," at both shows. Yvonne was finally able to encourage a small group of us to dance to that one in the awkward (and curiously underpopulated room) in Ventura, and we danced again at the reassuringly fuller Echo the next night. I stood still during "Say Yes to Everything" in Ventura, even though that single is the only St. Christopher single that I've ever owned, and one of my absolute favorite songs to soundtrack any dance party. The stillness was made up for the next night at the Echo when I apologized to Mary for the spoiler, but continued on in telling her that the next song was going to be "Say Yes to Everything," and that we were going to have to dance. We did, and were eventually able to draft Yvonne, and perhaps even John and Eric into dancing with us as well.
This is all presented as a way to examine the idea of what it really is that constitutes a great show. Does one have to recognize every song? Because I didn't, I vaguely recognized more than I thought that I would, but I did thoroughly enjoy pretty much every song that I heard nonetheless. And must each song have to contain every element from the recorded version? This is a particularly important point to address it seems, when you are dealing with songs that have meant so much to so many over the years. As it turns out, the songs can still sound pretty great with simply drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. Glenn's voice was in top form, and his excellent lyrics did come across. The lack of timpani in "Say Yes to Everything" was jarring, sure, as was the absence of the intricate keyboard on "Antoinette." That last one was according to Yvonne, of course, although having heard the song now I know what she means. Still hearing it played live at all was so lovely, and the way they bled it into it's B-side "Salvation" was just cool. Watching Brian having what looked to be amazing fun with these bass lines that he'd only learned a week before, and only had the occasion to practice with the band for seven hours on the previous Friday was undeniably cool as well. And Jesse's comment that in Ventura it looked like Michael Jackson was playing bass for St. Christopher because of Brian's small white hand cast that was the last remainder of a recent bike injury just added another level of surreality to the whole thing. And St. Christopher will now perpetually remain in my mind, "The band that played two of my favorite shows during one of the most fun weekends of my life."
You can (and should) pick up a copy of the St. Christopher compilation Lost at Sea: The Sarah Recordings right here.