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Concert Sat Jun 02 2012
There's something so refreshing, nay more like wholly life affirming to be in the presence of a truly talented individual that is completely lacking in any artifice. Patrick Watson is one such individual and his songs seem to arise straight from his heart out of his throat with a spontaneity that defies any idea of it being rehearsed but with such a smooth perfection that you know between all of his tour stops it of course had to have been practiced. Still, it's really the idea that each time Watson plays one of his songs, he's able to bring something new to it and the lyrics and composition that he's created is still so meaningful and genuine that everything just feels right.
Watson played for at least 75 minutes including an encore that included mainly older songs such as "Beijing" "Luscious Life" and "The Great Escape." In his main set, Watson sang mainly new songs from his fourth release, Adventures in Your Own Backyard except for "Big Bird in a Small Cage." At one point, Watson also sang in the middle of the crowd on a platform stool and was quite joyous with the audience.
Those that know Watson's albums are perhaps already familiar with his abilities with song composition. The lush textured arrangements never disappoint on his recordings or live. This tour, Watson has four bandmates to help him with all of the nuances and journeys the songs like to take, including a drummer, bassist, guitarist, and violinist, making the stage necessarily crowded.
As always, it was great to watch Watson playing the piano..his skill is immediately obvious both in terms of his technical abilities and the feelings he brings to each piece, another clue of his gorgeous grace and genuineness. This alone would be impressive but Watson's voice and vocal range in particular is just as awe inspiring, conjuring up comparisons to Jeff Buckley's easily.
As with his previous show in Chicago, there was some interesting banter coming from Watson intermittently throughout the set between songs. Watson told the audience about how much he supported the protests occurring in his home of Montréal, Canada (the band was proudly displaying red squares to symbolize their support) and thanking fans who had driven five and six hours to hear Watson play. As before when Watson played Schubas Tavern, he brought a certain humility alongside his songwriting talents that made him even more endearing. Of course, the most clear sign that the audience loved him dearly was how willing we all were to sing along with him during the main parts that the compositions allowed. But of course we would all love to sing along to the sound of the bird that mourns.