This was my first time at the Ark in Ann Arbor. It's a venue that's somewhat on the smaller side. It holds about 200 people, and has tiered seating that wraps around the stage, so that even the back row isn't too far away. The Ark is a non-profit organization, and the majority of the seats seem to be reserved to donors. I'd have to say that the strangest thing about the place is that they sell popcorn. I've never seen that for a music venue of that size.
They're going to be coming back to Michigan on June 6 at Meadow Brook Hall with Ray LaMontagne & Brandi Carlile. In a perfect world they would be on a bill with Blanche and The Sisters Lucas, with Dave Feeny sitting in with The Secret Sisters to play the pedal steel.
Amos Lee has a sort of folk-jazz kind of sound. You might not hear the jazz elements right away, but you'll notice it when you focus on the sounds of the percussion. Lee's voice has a kind of low key, unforced quality that made me think of Nick Drake. He was well received by a crowd of fervent admirers. At the beginning of every song people cheered as song as they recognized what song was starting. The intimate nature of the venue seemed to encourage people to want to shout their own input. Lee seemed to be only slightly annoyed when one woman shouted "my sister is sick too" after he told the crowd of his recent health troubles. In between two of the songs, he told the audience about his involvement with Musicians on Call, a group that gives bedside performances to patients unable to leave the hospital.
Once again, you'll have to settle for this video to see what you missed out on: