The show was informal and intimate, featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings in what apparently is a standard stage appearance for them. They played, joked, played some more, reminisced about past performances, and told stories. Probably the most amusing of these involved an invitation to Willie Nelson to come visit them at the studio where they were recording, which of course led to fantasies of getting to play with him... he didn’t show up. (Ok, it was funny at the time. My delivery sucks.)
They also talked some about their "box," an tiny, odd suitcase with small drawers hidden behind a door on one end, the contents of which were never actually revealed. They shared being a little distraught because this "box" (which does not look like a bomb), disappeared for five days when they were on the road recently, mysteriously appearing in the lost and found of the Mppls/St. Paul Airport police. The box came with them every time they moved off the stage, and throughout the performance sat slightly behind them on a high stool. Ms_E’s guess was that it held picks’n’stuff... and a severed head.
The music was beautiful, and I truly enjoyed seeing them onstage. They had an understated charisma that drew you in. The feel of the whole thing was like hanging out on the neighbors’ porch while they played and sang just to pass the time.
When she’s not singing, Gillian looks almost as though she’s bowing in supplication to her instrument. She shuts her eyes in reverie and seems almost to lay down on top of the guitar. Her hand and wrist are like water flowing over the strings as she plays. By contrast, David resembles nothing so closely as Appalachian music’s answer to David Byrne. Where Gillian seems subdued and fluid, David is active and, well, twitchy. The two together manage to somehow represent the full spectrum of the music. Theirs was poetry of song and motion.