A particularly eclectic reservation in the inaugural season of the Rady Shell was Pat Metheny, the immensely talented guitarist. The setting of the place on San Diego Bay is suitably majestic. The swept-back hull is reminiscent of the iconic TWA terminal at New York’s JFK Airport. The sound is excellent, despite the potential for calamity with swirling winds across the water. Likewise, lines of sight are very good from almost anywhere.
Pat Metheny brought James Francies & Joe Dyson to San Diego to complete his SIDE-EYE trio. It was a first stop on a 100 date world tour, but the band was already in great shape. Francies handled multiple keyboards, while the beat was kept by New Orleans drummer Dyson. The role of Dyson was particularly important, as Metheny and Francies take delicious sonorous flights.
The San Diego show took place a few weeks after the release of the project’s new album. NYC SIDE EYES (V1.IV), which has met with generally strong criticism. The album, like the concert, was built on Metheny’s soaring but melodic fretwork. He’s the only musician to win GRAMMYs in twelve separate categories, so he’s obviously used to pushing the limits. The genre isn’t something Metheny is particularly comfortable with, but it has evolved smoothly across jazz, classical, rock, and country (and has collaborated with a disparate roster of artists. , including David Bowie, Herbie Hancock and Steve Reich).
“Turnaround” and “Bright Size Life” from the new album were particularly well received. Mainly using his famous hollow body guitar, Metheny demonstrated remarkable dexterity. His younger groupmates followed with aplomb.
The evening was a delicious mix of music and scenery.