LIVE: David Gray

I can’t quite say I like David Gray better than Ray LaMontagne since the two are so incredibly different. That’s part of what made the show so good! LaMontagne’s set was a heaping helping of one of the most heartfelt and soulful voices you’ve ever heard followed by Gray’s tender but raw and emotional wall of sound.  There’s just something about David Gray’s music that cuts to the core of me and finally seeing him live in concert was nothing short of spectacular.

He played a mix of old and new tunes, definitely getting the crowd riled up right away. Each and every song was so epic and ended with such power, you’d think it was the final song of the night. “Fugitive” was the perfect start to the set with its booming drums and gorgeous buildup. Here’s his complete setlist:

1. “Fugitive”
2. “Stella the Artist”
3. “Be Mine”
4. “The One I Love”
5. “Now and Always”
6. “Jackdaw”
7. “Sail Away”
8. “The Other Side”
9. “We Could Fall in Love Again Tonight” [solo]
10. “Shine” [solo]
11. “Nemesis”
12. “Please Forgive Me”

ENCORE:
13. “This Year’s Love”
14. “Babylon”

I was so psyched to hear “Jackdaw” which is my favorite track from 2009’s Draw The Line, and “Please Forgive Me”,  my favorite from White Ladder (2000). But the best moment of the set for me was when his (incredible) band walked offstage, leaving Gray alone with his guitar to play a tune from his new album Foundling followed by “Shine” – the first David Gray song I ever heard. The lyrics are so sad but so moving and it was amazing to stand there watching him belt them out…

“For all that we struggle, for all we pretend
It don’t come down to nothing except love in the end.
And ours is a road that is strewn with goodbyes,
but as it unfolds, as it all unwinds…
remember your soul is the one thing you can’t compromise
Take my hand…We’re gonna go where we can shine”

At the end of the night, David Gray and Ray LaMontagne performed a song together. I can’t be sure, but I think it was the Bee Gees tune, “In the Morning”. The crowd was AMPED to see them up there side by side, but the rocky duet was a true testament to how different their sounds are. Their guitar playing, their voices, and their energy levels didn’t mix well when put together, but seeing their sets back to back was an amazing musical experience I won’t soon forget.

David Gray

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