Home Live Review Live Review: Andy Shauf @ Wolf Trap — 3/30/24

Live Review: Andy Shauf @ Wolf Trap — 3/30/24

Live Review: Andy Shauf @ Wolf Trap — 3/30/24
Andy Shauf performs at The Barns at Wolf Trap on March 30, 2024. (Photo by Marc Shea)

Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend a very intimate show in Vienna, Virginia. Andy Shauf is currently on a solo acoustic tour which took him to The Barns at Wolf Trap.

I had never been to The Barns, so I was anxious to find out what it is like. I got there pretty early to scope the place out and get familiar with the venue and I’m glad I did.

Before I get into the show, I wanted to take a second and point out that the staff at The Barns were incredibly kind. Every one of them was happy to answer any questions I had, including the history of the two barns that make up the facility. If you go, make sure to ask about them because it’s a fascinating story but it doesn’t take up your entire evening. So a huge “Thank You” goes out to everyone there that night.

At Wolf Trap on March 30, the show began slightly earlier than normal. That’s one reason to always read the emails you get from show venues. The opener was a solo acoustic performance from Lutalo. I was not familiar with Lutalo’s music until he came to the stage but once he began playing, it was evident why Andy chose him to open the entire tour. His music fits with the feel of this show. It’s acoustic, gentle, and easy to get into. His voice is reminiscent of Ben Harper at times.

Between songs, Lutalo was soft spoken with a dry sense of humor. He talked a little about the songs and his upcoming album. After his set was over, I made a note to go check out his work.

After a short intermission, Andy walked onstage and said hello. He sat down, crossed his legs, and thanked everyone for coming. He began the evening with “Wasted On You” from his latest release, Norm. Andy has won praise for descriptive lyrics that are paired with music that has a gauze filtered 1970s flair to it. His songs are rarely overly indulgent, musically — lots of acoustic guitar, bass, drums, vocals, sometimes keys, and the occasional string part.

Watch the official music video for “Wasted on You” by Andy Shauf on YouTube:

The show at The Barns at Wolf Trap stripped that sensibility down to just an acoustic guitar and Andy’s voice. Many artists will loop guitars or a drum pad when they perform in an intimate setting. Not Andy. This was truly a minimalist show.

The audience was exactly what you would expect at Wolf Trap. There was more clapping than yelling. Andy was able to talk a little about some of the music. His first real interaction with the audience was introducing a new song from his band Foxwarren, “Yvonne.” A few songs later, he played one of my favorites, “The Worst In You.” As much as I like the full band version, the stripped back version was just as good!

He introduced the next song “Judy” by asking if anyone in the audience played the lottery. When the audience kept quiet he told them they didn’t have to be ashamed of it, which got a lot of giggles.

When Andy got to the song “Covered In Dust,” he spoke about the age of the song and how his perspective has changed. He said he wrote the song when he was 22 and everything was much more dramatic. Andy being such a mellow songwriter, it’s funny to think of this song as being “dramatic Andy.”

Andy followed “Covered In Dust” with a few more of my favorites, “To You” and “Quite Like You,” both from his 2016 album The Party. His voice broke right at the beginning of “To You,” so he paused, took a drink, and picked up right where he left off.

He wrapped everything up with “Changer” from The Neon Skyline, thanked everyone for coming out, waved, and walked a little awkwardly to stage right, like he was not comfortable with the applause.

After a minute or two, Andy reemerged and walked back to his chair and guitar. He asked what we wanted to hear. The audience began yelling out so many songs, it was tough to distinguish what was being requested. I was able to make out “The Magician,” “Martha Sways,” “Wendell Walker,” and “Freebird” (there’s always one).

Andy sat down and began strumming the soft chords of “Martha Sways” (I was pulling for “Wendell Walker,” but I was happy with “Martha Sways”). After that, he thanked everyone again and left. The house lights came on and everyone politely shuffled out of this beautiful venue.

This was a very unique experience. I’ve wanted to see Andy in a live setting for quite a while. Getting the opportunity to see him perform solo, acoustic, and in an old German barn was just perfect. The barn seemed to have it’s own life and give both performers a warmth and intimacy that was just a little more special than I had anticipated. I hope to see Andy again soon. And I hope to see another show at The Barns soon, too.


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