REVIEW: Steve Poltz

This was one of the most fun performances I have seen at The Ark.  Steve Poltz, who describes himself as a Deadhead, was full of creative energy that he used to really bond with the audience. The weirdest exchange he had with the audience was when he came into the crowd and bit an old man’s ear. That’s right HE BIT AN OLD MAN’S EAR! Thankfully it wasn’t in a Mike Tyson ear biting way which draws blood, but in a playful mood that had the old man’s consent. For his last song he led the entire audience in a rendition of “This Land is your Land” where we were all holding shoulders, swaying, and singing our hearts out. He had a cute dialogue with a little girl in the audience, where he replaced the cuss words of one of his songs with a child friendly version which he had her sing. I will only repeat the kid-friendly version which was “Duck off Cancer”. My favorite way in which he connected with the audience, was that he made the concert special to this one show in Ann Arbor at the Ark. He did this by improvising his songs with fun playful rhythms and lyrics specific to Ann Arbor and our night together. This made the show feel special and unique. It made it so that I want to see him perform live again, because I know that the next show will be so different from the one I saw last night. Half of the songs he played for us he mentioned he had written only a few days before with his friends, one of the songs does not even have a title yet, although I believe it will be “Please don’t Crash my Car” because this was the most repeated phrase. I was a little skeptical at first that these awesome songs could have been written in only a few hours, but by the way he was improvising last night I came to believe.

Steve Poltz is a little crazy and rambled for almost the entirety of the second half of the show. He only played one or two songs the last 45 minutes. His stories were very interesting and amusing and he did 42 push-ups for us, but it was not what I wanted out of this night. He is so talented musically and I wish that he didn’t get carried away with talking to the audience.

To describe his music, it is American folk. His rhyming patterns are very simple, usually AABBCCDD and sometimes ABABCDCD. His guitar playing was all finger picking, and he had a way of talk-singing, sort of like Bob Dylan or The Sultans of Swing. His voice was extremely calm and soothing, which is why it sounded so good in his half-talking half-singing manner. Overall I had a great time and hope to see him again!

Ronald McTrump

I am a senior studying business and I have lots of travelling experience in Asia. I am very pessimistic and opinionated about life, but art brings me happiness and I hope my pessimism isn't apparent in my reviews, for the sake of the artists!

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