It’s been over two years since I last saw Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow and it’s two years too late, if you ask me. The talented man made his return Vancouver this past Thursday evening for a sold-out show at the Commodore Ballroom. Although the rain came down hard, spirits were high inside the venue.
Opening for James was Allan Rayman, the Torontonian singer whose enigmatic performance stole the audience’s attention. He performed tracks from his debut LP Hotel Allan whilst a single spotlight from the back shone on him. With a uniquely raspy voice and frenetic dance moves, Rayman definitely made new fans in many of those in the audience.
The sounds of Roy Ayers’ “Everybody Loves Sunshine” filtered through the Commodore as McMorrow and his bandmates stepped foot onstage and at the end of the classic tune, they got things started with “Red Dust”.
Throughout the hour-and-a-half long set, McMorrow played through a number of his most popular tunes like “We Don’t Eat”, “If I Had a Boat” and his cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love”. The set also included a number of tracks from McMorrow’s latest release, We Move, with songs like “Get Low” and “Rising Water” evoking a wild response from the crowd. But the track that everyone waited for was the one that closed out the magical evening: “Cavalier”.
Seeing McMorrow live is simply amazing. His powerful voice is something that begs to be heard in person and not simply through an electronic device. Performing with so much passion, McMorrow’s presence onstage grabs hold of your attention and you become so entranced by his every word, his every melody. He is someone who shouldn’t be missed because I guarantee it is something you’ll regret.