Recently, following a link from my friend Jonathan’s Facebook page to his MySpace page, I stumbled upon this (and another) video clip from the now-legendary Halloween 2007 midnight Laser’s Edge in-store performance by Josh Ritter. And I say “legendary” in all seriousness, even if it is only I who feels that way: the air that night was a-cracklin’.
As you can see, Josh was toga-clad, it being Halloweeen (he played his entire Workplay set earlier that night dressed this way). This song was near the end of his set, so it must have been about 12:45 a.m. or so. I guess the late-night vibe was what encouraged that young lady in the front to sing along with practically every word of “Girl in the War” (And if you like that, there’s more in another video; she’s the Glenn Gould of in-store performances.).
I feel compelled to add here that the opening of this clip contains one of the most bizarre musician-to-crowd exchanges that I think I’ve ever heard:
Josh Ritter (to a roomful of people in Birmingham, Alabama – a two-hour drive from Atlanta, Georgia): You guys ever been to Atlanta?
Girl in the crowd: Go to the Coke plant!
Guy in the crowd: [sounds like] Go to Nashville!
Many thanks to MySpace user Doug Doug for taking and posting this video. Please don’t remove it (is there more?).
Josh’s management encouraged me to have the evening’s in-store recorded for possible use as an EP release. He-of-many-talents Brian T. Murphy did the recording duties that night but, sadly, his handiwork never got a release. Below is what this same version of “Girl in the War” sounded like on his rejected recording: