I am dubious about the name "Sugar Club". So should you all be. But the inside was friendly enough, and a nice venue as far as I'm a judge of such things. Comfortable couch-like seats and long tables for ridiculously adulterated alcohol (they did have some of the stock drinks, but it must be one of the only places in Dublin that did not serve Guinness--my friend ordered a Murphy's probably out of pure shock). Plenty of leg room and enough height that you didn't have to crane your neck to see the stage made the experience a comfortable one.
Chris Thile is the slightly nutsy mandolin player from Nickel Creek--he is the one making faces on the flyleaf and playing with falsettos on the tracks he can manipulate. He is a twentysomething young man with a bit of style that doesn't quite belong in the America I remember. He plays a fun solo and has a strange way of rolling back his eyes in his head when he plays, dancing around a little bit and seeming very very intent on his instrument.
His banter between songs was carefully witty but seemed to be pulled off without too much effort; he claimed to be full of nervous energy because this was his first solo tour, but rather than making him seem awkward his goofball efforts to be funny were, indeed, all in good fun.
The playing, though, was not at all awkward and seemed to be awfully high-energy and creative from such a laid-back, enthusiastic type of guy Thile seems to be. One gets the feeling that he can certainly withdraw into himself to create the music he plays.
He played a bunch of covers and a few of his older songs, though none that I know, and a few of his new ones (and a few classical pieces that were jaw-dropping). I liked all of them, though there were maybe two that could have used a little less of the pick-up and the pretty girl who left him (not to mention the dog that died and the train ride home). Hey, if two is as much as I could come up with, I'm well satisfied!
Also he is personable and nice to his fans and might need a haircut but doesn't seem to mind; all this speaks well of him. Not to mention he's a bit of a nerd (what with Star Wars magazines and songs named after Calvin & Hobbes and Tolkien), which is nifty in my book since I happen to claim nerdhood myself.
And that was fun. Comfortable company, comfortable music, comfortable venue. I would say that makes for a good night.
Wish you'd'a been there:) I miss you.