Because Songs Matter


Before Sunday night (March 07, 2010) I had missed every chance to see Tim Barry play live. Circumstances had aligned against me and I was either out of town, sick, without transportation, or possibly dead (I got better) every time he rolled through Houston. In a very short amount of time I realized what I had been missing. Before I talk about any of the specifics let me make clear that this was the most intense show I can remember seeing bar none. It takes that spot from some great shows with absolutely crazy stories attached to them, like waking up in New Orleans on a tour bus, that are now put to shame by a show where nothing really all that crazy went down. The only way to chalk it up is to the sheer intensity that Tim Barry radiates on and off the stage. Now lets get on to the story…

So me and my brother showed up way too early because I thought the show would sell out. (As a side note: Fuck you Houston for not selling this show out. You bunch of bitches!) So we stood outside smoking and talking while trying to stay out of the possible line of fire from some asshole calling himself “Pony” who was waving around what he referred to as “My nine”. I thought he was the manager or one of the owners which would make his asinine behavior legal so we didn’t call the cops on the jackoff. We should have. He’s not even employed by the club. And eventually decided to wander down the street and grab some food and hope that “Pony”, who actually said “Man fuck that book (The Outsiders) I’ve been going by Pony since before that asshole write that book”, didn’t kill anyone and ruin the show before we got back.

When we managed to wander back I caught up with Tim and, much to my surprise, was taken aback at his humility. We hung out for a while before the show and I got permission to shoot some pics of the show as well as met some pretty cool people including a dude who had bicycled from Tampa, FL to Houston, TX and had come to see the show. Tim deflected most of the compliments people had about his music preferring to talk about life and wander through random topics. It was more like meeting an old friend for the first time rather than meeting a rock star.

That all changed when Tim took the stage. “I’m Tim Barry and I’m from Richmond Virginia” While there was a lot of intensity about him before the show, especially when he talked about the incident where he broke his hand, that intensity took on a whole new form when he picked us guitar. It’s almost impossible to describe him on stage to someone who hasn’t seen him play. He obviously enjoys what he is doing but there is an underlying “fuck you” that’s just waiting to break through. It almost felt like I was watching someone about to fight with themselves. With the crowd yelling along with every song the energy in the club was something that must be experienced to be believed.

All of that was almost destroyed when the aforementioned asshole “Pony” got on stage between songs and began ranting about why he didn’t understand why Tim would tour with those pussies on the Revival Tour and he was out of their league and much worse. Being as that the Revival Tour is put on by one of Tim’s best friends and musicians on it with him are all friends of his you can imagine that this went over like a ton of bricks. But Tim restrained himself and “Pony’s” friends pretty much got him out the door, into his car, and told him to fuck off before coming in to finish the show. Tim handled it well even taking time to say he understood that the guy was trying to compliment him and just went about it in the exact wrong way. And then he started playing again…

There were beers, there were shots, and there was even an asshole but most of all Tim Barry took the stage, owned the crowd, and played like a man possessed. If you have seen him you know what I mean. The tense arms, the spittle flying, the random “fuck you” between verses or songs, and him leaving all the blood, sweat, and tears on the stage. Like many shows it was over way too soon. We all said our goodbyes and parted ways into that moist Texas air. I know I normally share stories about the bands I cover and whatnot but the stories I have from this show, outside of the show itself, aren’t the kind of stories a body is inclined to make public. They seem, as weird as it sounds, too intimate to shove into a few words and post on the intertubes. So you’ll have to be satisfied with this write up and the pics I took. Quoth Tim Barry: That’s all I got…Goodnight!

Feel free to stop by my site to see all the pics from the show. I need to crop a couple a little differently but they are all posted. And as usual if Virgil or Tim, or hell anyone, wants to use the pics to promote Tim then just drop me a line and they’re yours to use.

Tim Barry - Exit Wounds (Live)     

Tim Barry - Wait At Milano (Live)     

Tim Barry - Avoiding Catatonic Surrender (Live)     

Tim Barry’s Home Page
Tim Barry @ Suburban Home Records


  1. lisa lisa
    March 15, 2010    

    Tim is a performer like no other. He puts it out there point blank and does not give a fuck if you like it or not. He gets down to the raw core of the music and he makes you feel it. In the few times I have been lucky enough to see him, it was always an emotional ride, one minute I’m pissed off, the next I want to cry. His music is as manic as me on a good day and I love every word he has ever written.

  2. Jack Jack
    March 15, 2010    

    I saw him in New Orleans the night before this show. Fuckin unbelievable. There were probably only 20 people at the show and Tim made us all gather in a circle around him and he played his full set without amp or mic, just singing with the crowd. I’d never seen anything like it before and I doubt I will ever again. And yeah, talking to him after the show is wild. You can talk with him about pretty much anything except for his music, when he just gets super humble. I absolutely loved every second of it and hope I get to see him again.

  3. James Freeman James Freeman
    March 16, 2010    

    I can’t wait to see him in Denver at the end of the month.
    He gets a ton of love here and the show is on the Friday night so it should be a damn good time.

  4. Haley McHaney Haley McHaney
    March 17, 2010    

    Hey James, Im new to Denver but Ill be at that show too! Looking forward to a Friday show!

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