My husband, Blade, and I have seen Peter Mulvey in concert several times now. The first time, it was a surprise for Blade. It was Blade's birthday, and we'd both gotten attached to Peter Mulvey's music that summer, and he happened to be playing for free.* Another time, we saw him with a full house at SPACE in Evanston.
This week, we saw him at Schuba's in Chicago as our Valentine's date.
At most concerts I've been to, the audience either sang so loud that no one could really hear the band or else mingled among themselves with the band's music as a backdrop. At Peter Mulvey concerts, though, whether they're at a bar or a concert hall, people lean forward and listen.
Our friend Dan** wrote this in a review of Peter Mulvey's album, Letters from a Flying Machine:
... Mulvey's love for music saturates his own work, which enables listeners to love more fully whatever and whomever they love. ... [W]hen someone else shows you who they are, when they sing honestly, it reminds you of who you are.That is probably why we keep going back to Peter Mulvey concerts whenever we get the chance. In fact, we may get another chance in March. Who wants to meet us a Schuba's?
*When we got there, it turns out that we were crashing a birthday party at Chicago's oldest lesbian bar, at which Mulvey was giving a little private concert. We sort of stuck out, though it didn't seem like anyone minded that we were there.
**You may know Dan as the creator of 3eanuts. You should also know him, though, as Freddy Raccoon's handler, which is probably a more demanding job.