Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday Night Concert Blogging - Ray LaMontagne

Checked out Ray at the always impressive Paramount Theater in Oakland with Catherine and Marjorie. This was my second time seeing Ray in concert...I saw him with Heidi back at the Fillmore in S.F. last year. The shows were very different, but both were excellent. At the Fillmore, Ray's band featured an upright bass and a small string section. Tonight's show was more austere...Ray on acoustic guitar, an electric bass, a slide guitar, and drums. The crowd was mostly silent, which is perhaps the way it should be, since Ray's voice simply overpowers...well, everything. The arrangements leaned toward the country-ish, though that's not a bad thing (it was almost like Ray fronting the Cowboy Junkies at times).

In any case, despite a few problems with the sound, the show was great. Ray led off the show with the first three songs from his new album, Till The Sun Turns Black. "Be Here Now", "Empty", and "Barfly" were all well done. Highlights of the show for me were "Narrow Escape", "Trouble", "Can I Stay", "Jolene", and the closer for the night, an impassioned performance of "Burn". Ray also did a cover of "In A Station" by The Band.

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