Sunday, May 29, 2011

Live Review: John Grant @ The Vanguard (20/5/2011)

With only about 2 days' notice, I scurried to get my grubby paws on tickets to John Grant's concert at The Vanguard on 20/05/2011.

Not having been to the venue before, I opted for the cheaper "Concert Only" option, which turned out to be a "Standing Only" option too.  Still, at $30, I should not complain.  Except for the fact that meal-carrying waitresses required us to part each time they had to pass through and the concert was almost an hour late starting.

Support Act Bridezilla's Daisy M Tully was charming and an apt opener for Grant, with her multi-looped-violin musing on love & loss ala Owen Pallett.  Especially so when she repeatedly forgot the words to a song and excused herself with candid humour.

I was looking around the crowd wondering how many of the audience were prepared for John's songs on manlove and how many would actually walk out.  Thankfully, the crowd is more open-minded than I'd initially thought.  After first 2 songs, jitters were gone and he was totally in his element and won the audience over. Dressed in a suit and towering over six foot, John cuts a looming figure.  This is in sharp contrast with the songs which were nakedly heartfelt.  Between songs, he also regaled us with stories behind them.  I was hoping to hear "That's the Good News" from the limited edition bonus disc; but it was left off the setlist in preference of "Fireflies" and the album's main tracks.

John was the frontman of disbanded group, The Czars, who garnished critical praise but escaped commercial success.  He was about to retire from the music scene but the band Midlake convinced him to have another go and also performed as backing band for the album.  His 2010 album Queen of Denmark was Mojo's prestigious surprise #1 album of the year.

I'm looking forward to his next album which hopefully, showcases John's "freakier" experimental side.

All in all, a terrific night I'm glad I did not miss.  4.6/5

No comments:

Post a Comment