A Cool Breeze and an Airstream with Paul Thorn
A Cool Breeze and an Airstream : Hammer and Nail 20th Anniversary Tour
One thing is pretty certain about an August afternoon in the South — one way or another you are going to get wet. Whether it’s from the sweat pouring from your skin caused by the searing sun or the inevitable storm that will come and go, there will be serious moisture involved in some fashion.
This proved to be true for the line of folks waiting for a VIP meet and greet with singer Paul Thorn outside the Neighborhood Theater in NoDa late Saturday afternoon. The summer sun was glistening off a shiny, newly renovated 1977 Airstream trailer parked in front of the theater, a trailer filled with Thorn memorabilia commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of his first record Hammer and Nail. The Airstream was the location of the meet and greet.
At right about 5:30, Thorn walked out of the theater wearing a cutoff Muddy Waters tee shirt, slide in sandals, dark Ray Bans, and carrying an acoustic guitar. His fans greeted him like an old friend, many bringing gifts (college tee shirts, a jar of homemade pickles, and a bag of Cheez-Its to name a few). Rather than the expectant storm blowing in, a cool breeze blew down the sidewalk.
After taking some pictures with fans and signing autographs (which he did again once inside the Airstream), Thorn walked over to the door of the trailer and politely knocked on the door. When no one answered, he patiently waited a moment, then asked his fans if there was anyone inside. I pointed out to him that his name and picture are on the side of the vehicle and he can probably walk on in without retribution; he then slightly smiled at the suggestion and knocked on the door again. This time they opened the door and told him they were running behind; in fact, this was the first time they used the trailer, so even Thorn has yet to see the interior). Thorn nodded and walked up the sidewalk to where several cases of beer from one of his tour sponsors were sitting.
He fumbled through his pockets, looking for a guitar pick he apparently left inside. He placed his guitar on the stacks of beer cases on the sidewalk and asked the people there to “keep an eye on it for me, I’ll be right back.”
Thorn is clearly a man comfortable in his own skin. So much so that he makes people he has never met before comfortable in their skin.
A few short minutes later he walked back out, picked up the guitar, and said he “might as well play for y’all while we wait.” He played four or so songs, mostly from requests, and told stories in between.
Once the Airstream was ready, Thorn went in and had a good time talking with the folks who came to visit. A short while later, it was concert time and the same vibe filled the air.
The first set was Thorn’s first record Hammer and Nail in its entirety along with a couple of bonus songs thrown in. After a short intermission, Thorn played a nice variety of tunes from his other records during the second set, just over 20 songs on the night.
Seeing a Paul Thorn Band show is not so much going to a concert as it is paying a visit. Thorn makes sure his guests are well tended to and always feel at home.
Full gallery of the night
To enjoy this experience you have a few more chances: