The ability to silence an audience of nearly 2000 people is an extremely hard feat and yet, Patrick Watson is a rarity who is able to do so. At concerts, it’s not very often that the entire audience is so silent that you don’t even want to move in fear of making any noise. Usually, there are people chatting, people checking their mobile devices and people holding up said devices to take pictures. But that was not the case last night at The Centre. The entire audience at the venue was completely enraptured with Watson and his bandmates, and it was certainly a sight to behold.
Watson and company – guitarist Simon Angell, bassist Mishka Stein, violinist Melanie Blair, drummer Robbie Kuster, and a trumpeter whose name I couldn’t catch – delivered a solid set of songs and had concertgoers revelling in all the rich harmonies and melodies.
After the lights dimmed, Watson appeared on-stage in the darkness, only guided by a small handheld light, and opened with “Lighthouse,” which also is the opening song on the band’s latest record, Adventures in Your Own Backyard. As the song began to crescendo, the rest of the band filed onto the stage to complete the great washes of sound. The lighting grew more intense with the build-up of “Lighthouse” that went straight into “Blackwind,” and short film clips were also projected onto the large circular screens at each side of the stage.
Both during and between songs, Watson’s likeable personality shone through: he would often chuckle during songs and his attempts at story-telling before songs were adorable and humorous, earning many a laugh from audience members.
About a third into their set and after a slew of songs from Adventures in Your Own Backyard, Watson began “Man Like You” with Angell and Kuster, and all three of them surrounded a single microphone. Next was “Into Giants” and the group of three became a group of five. It was quite interesting to see them all huddled around the lone microphone, fighting for the space around it.
The last chunk of the set consisted of cinematic performances of songs highlighted by pounding percussion and flashing lights that followed the percussive beats. There were extended solos that showcased Angell and the trumpeter’s musical talents, and there was an instance of audience participation in which Watson asked everyone to sing along and “let their crap on [him].”
Fans in Vancouver were treated to not only one encore, but two, and they were very grateful indeed. After a standing ovation, Watson and his bandmates went into “Where The Wild Things Are” and followed it with “Machinery in Heaven.” And for the second encore, Watson got the audience to vote between “To Build A Home” and “The Great Escape” – the clear winner being the latter. Another standing ovation later and that was it for the night.
Bravo, Patrick Watson and co. It was a splendid evening filled with beautiful music and I don’t think anyone in the audience couldn’t have asked for more.
For more shows from Perryscope Concerts, check out their website at www.perryscopeconcerts.com