If you live in Spokane and have heard of Son Volt, the shock of finding them playing for free at Pig Out seemed incongruous. I knew people who said they would have driven to Seattle just to see them at Bumbershoot. However, here they were on Friday night. They opened the set with cuts off their new album, Okemah and the Melody of Riot. The band was so good, I enjoyed the live version of every song better than the recorded version. The band was tight, well-mixed and the songs were strong. As the night wore on, the sound mixer decided to turn everything up to 11, and the mix got muddy. The last half of the set was a little monotonous and boring. But when they came back for the encore, they showed why people love them so much. Jay Farrar got out the acoustic and played the best song he has ever written, Windfall, off their best album, Trace. So, a great, influential band played for almost two hours for free at Riverfront Park during Pig Out in the Park. Weird. But great.
If you don't know Son Volt, a great start would be this record.