All photos: Karli Cadel
Steve Schick proved last night at Miller Theatre that he is far more than just a talented musician. He is a deeply sensitive, thoughtful human being who tells stories of walking from San Diego to San Francisco just to experience the sounds along the way, strips down to the waist to perform a piece using nothing other than his body, and memorizes an entire poem—Wendell Berry's "The Mad Farmer Liberation Front"—to recite as an "encore." I mean, who does that?
Schick arrived at a packed house last night for the first of two concerts surveying the solo percussion repertoire, of which Steve is one of the world's undisputed masters. (Part two is Saturday night.) As with the poem, Schick performed last night's program—which lasted more than two hours—entirely from memory, allowing for both greater flexibility of movement and unfettered access to the audience. It also made it easier for us to witness his extraordinary physical energy, twisting behind his back or wheeling around blindly to hit just the right spot on his dizzying array of cowbells and tam tams, set up in three stations across the stage.