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David Gray Brings His Gold In A Brass Age Tour To Philadelphia!

Sometime you buy tickets to a concert months in advance, and eagerly anticipate the day of the show. Other times, you have a concert on your radar, but decide to make a last minute decision on whether or not to go. And sometimes, tickets fall into your lap, so you take advantage!

The David Gray concert at The Met in Philadelphia fell into that last category for us. I knew he was coming to town, but I have been trying really hard this year not to over-schedule us with too many shows.

However, a friend texted my husband earlier in the week saying she had two tickets to the show and no one to go with. She preferred not to go at all rather than go alone, so offered the tickets to us because she knew how much we appreciated live music. Wow! Such a nice gesture and so appreciated!

Not only did she have two tickets, but the seats were excellent! Would the show blow me away as well? Keep reading to find out!

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THE VENUE

The Metropolitan Opera House – or The Met for short – was originally built in 1908 by Oscar Hammerstein. The initial purpose of the venue was as the home of the Philadelphia Opera Company. Although it changed ownership just a few years after it was open, the building housed opera companies through 1934.

For the next 50 years, the venue continued in use serving several different purposes – a movie theater, a ballroom, a sports venue and even a church. Unfortunately, by 1988 the building had fallen into serious disrepair and stood vacant for many subsequent years.

The building was in such bad shape, in fact, that it was scheduled for demolition. Luckily, Reverend Mark Hatcher purchased the building in 1996 to house his Holy Ghost Headquarters Revival Center. He put around $5 million into the building to stabilize it during his occupancy.

In October of 2012, Holy Ghost entered into a development deal with Eric Blumenfeld. Unfortunately, the relationship never really panned out as promised. Lack of permits and other missteps led to the building never being restored as originally planned.

In 2017, Live Nation signed a lease with the owners to become a tenant and concert promoter in the building. The three parties – Live Nation, Holy Ghost, and Blumenfeld – spent $56 million to totally refurbish the space.

The Met

The Met is absolutely beautiful inside after its $56M makeover. The acoustics are great too!

The Met had its grand re-opening to the public on December 3, 2018, when legendary rocker Bob Dylan played a show there.

Tip #1: Do not get sucked into the Live Nation paid parking lot or valet parking. There is lots of street parking in the area, including just down the block on Broad Street.

The Met

You can pay $60 for valet parking, or find a spot on the street just a short walk away for free.

Tip #2: The area around The Met is just starting to get rejuvenated. Right now, there are a few restaurant choices in the area. When we went to a show there earlier this year, we ate at Flambo. The food was great, but the service was very slow. For this show, we had dinner at South.

South

The cornbread skillet seemed to be one of South’s specialties. Almost every table ordered it and it was delicious!

South

South takes southern comfort food and brings it up a notch. This is the mac and cheese. Yummy!

Tip #3: If you are a regular concert goer, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, but drinks at the venue are expensive! Live Nation seems to be paying for the $56 million dollar renovation one drink at a time. Have some drinks before or after the show at one of the local establishments, and limit your consumption inside The Met.

The Met

Because we had box seats, we had access to the VIP lounge. They told us there were free drinks, but it turns out there was a free sample of one drink. Everything else was full price.

Tip #4: The acoustics inside the venue are amazing. Our seats for this show were in the upper box, right up near the stage. While we could hear well, it was a challenge to see anything because of the site lines. I would suggest looking for tickets in the center – even if it’s up on the upper level. It’s always great to be up front, but you won’t be disappointed if you end up further back either.

The Met

This is the view from me leaning over the rail in the box seats. It’s a tough view of the stage from the seats.

THE SHOW

GABY MORENO

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Gaby Moreno was born Maria Gabriela Moreno Bonilla in Guatemala. A singer-songwriter who also plays guitar, Moreno has won numerous awards and critical praise throughout her career.

Moreno released her first album – Still the Unknown – independently in 2009. Over her career, she’s toured with musicians such as Tracy Chapman, Ani Difranco, and now David Gray.

Her album – Illusion – was nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award in the category of Best Latin Pop Album.

THE PERFORMANCE

Gaby took the stage at 8 p.m. It was just her and her guitar. The first couple of songs she played were a bit mellow, including “Nobody To Love” which she said was off her latest album – Illusion.



As her set progressed, her songs became more upbeat. The crowd was definitely impressed with her powerful voice, which she showed off on several songs.

Gaby Moreno

Gaby Moreno shared her beautiful and powerful voice with us on Friday at The Met!

Gaby ended her set by explaining that she was from Guatemala, and that she did many of her songs in Spanish. Moreno said she wasn’t sure who was even listening, but she was going to wrap up with a song that she said was very popular in Latin America. The song really worked its way up to a crescendo at the end, and brought the crowd to a roar as Moreno wrapped up her set!

Gaby Moreno

The crowd loved Gaby Moreno. She definitely gained some new fans!

You can catch Gaby Moreno on the road supporting David Gray through the end of June. For more information on upcoming show dates and her music, check out her website.

DAVID GRAY

ABOUT THE ARTIST

David Gray is a British singer-songwriter. Gray released his first album – A Century Ends – in 1993, followed by a second album – Flesh – in 1994. Neither album, nor his 1996 album Sell, Sell, Sell had much commercial success.

In 2000, David Gray re-released his album White Ladder on ATO Records. The album contained the songs “This Year’s Love”, “Sail Away”, and his big hit “Babylon”. The album led to Gray’s first big commercial success.

Gray followed up White Ladder with A New Day At Midnight in 2002. Following the release, David Gray took a three-year hiatus to rest up after a grueling recording and touring schedule. His next album – Life In Slow Motion – was released in 2005.

David Gray continued to regularly release music with albums Draw The Line, Foundling, and Mutineers. His most recent release – Gold In A Brass Age – was released in 2019. Gray is currently out on tour supporting the album.

David Gray

David Gray brought his Gold In A Brass Age tour to The Met in Philadelphia on Friday night.

THE PERFORMANCE

David Gray took the stage with four other musicians. Gray himself sat behind the keyboard, said hello to the crowd, and started into the set.

As usual, I tried to take a video of one song so all of you could get a little taste of the show. I was quickly approached by an usher and told no video was permitted. The no video rule was clearly something directly from David Gray, as I had no problem taking video during Gaby Moreno’s set.

David Gray

I couldn’t get any video, but I was able to get some cool pictures, including this one of the lights from the show reflecting in the venue.

I always wonder about the artist’s reasoning when I run into a situation that someone doesn’t allow video. I definitely understand wanting to protect their rights, but it seems like getting some of their music out there would be beneficial to them. In any case, no video to share for this post of David Gray, unfortunately, as I wanted to be sure to respect Gray’s wishes.

I am not a huge fan of Gray’s, so I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the songs. But, I had a group of big David Gray fans around me, and they were clearly enjoying the show. Gray structured his show so that he played all of the songs from his new album – Gold In A Brass Age – at the beginning of the show.

David Gray

David Gray and his band at The Met on Friday night.

Then Gray said that they were moving onto to some older stuff, which definitely got the crowd excited. He kicked off with “Sail Away” and the remainder of his show was filled with songs from previous albums. With a handful of exceptions, the crowd sat pretty quietly up to that point, but some of the older songs got several people to their feet and dancing.

David Gray

The fans sat pretty quietly during the first half of the show.

Towards the end of the show, the rest of the band left the stage, leaving David Gray on stage by himself to perform a couple of slower songs. He alternated between the keyboard and guitar, but one thing was constant – his powerful voice!

David Gray

David Gray performing solo on the guitar.

David Gray

David Gray performing solo on the keyboard.

Of course, the highlight of the show for most people – including me – was Gray doing his big hit – “Babylon”. The song got most of the room to their feet dancing and singing.

David Gray

David Gray thanking the crowd after the show.

David Gray is currently in North America on his Gold In A Brass Age tour through June. Check out his website for upcoming tour dates.

Set List (click on any link to purchase the song directly on Amazon): Mallory, The Sapling, Gold In A Brass Age, Hall Of Mirrors, Watching The Waves, A Tight Ship, If 8 Were 9, Sail Away, My Oh My, Be Mine, Freedom, Back In The World, Birds Of The High Arctic, The Other Side, Shine, Gathering Dust, This Year’s Love, Silver Lining, The One I Love, Babylon Encore: Fugitive, Please Forgive Me

Are you a fan of David Gray? How about Gaby Moreno? Let us know. Please comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.

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