Saturday night at Town Hall in NYC brought two of the most talented voices in pop together for a fantastic evening of music. First on the bill was Adem, who recently released his Domino debut Homesongs. Prior to this show, my only experience with his music was in Player .056. Adem took the stage promptly at 8pm, joined on stage by his good friend Marc Meon. Together they performed honest, melodic hymn-like pop using nothing but acoustic guitars, autoharp, and a harmonium. The result was a very intimate set which showcased the intelligent songwriting of Adem. His voice lies somewhere between Chris Martin and Sea Change era Beck, with an honest delivery rarely heard these days. Highlights included “There Will Always Be” and “Pillow”, during which you could hear a pin drop. Adem gained several new fans by the end of his set, myself included.
The headliner for the evening was a full band set from Badly Drawn Boy. I have been a longtime fan, but have never actually gotten to experience a good live show from his Gogh-ness. Fortunately his family was in the audience and his set went well, putting him into a good mood. The setup included drums, guitars, bass, keys, violin, cello, and flute. His eclectic lineup made for an outstanding evening of lush pop from his new album One Plus One Is One. In fact, he performed the album in its entirety as the first portion of his set. Songs such as “This Is That New Song” showcased Damon Gogh’s personal songwriting and gorgeous melodic lines highlighted by his string section. The high point of Act One during his marathon set was easily “Four Leaf Clover”, which ended with a round of audience participation fueled handclaps. It was great seeing Gogh interacting with the crowd, telling plenty of Bruce Springsteen stories and talking about his family. His songs on One Plus One Is One really came to life on stage, which gave me a whole new appreciation for the album.
Perhaps one day the masses will clean the John Mayer coated wax out of their ears and finally hear what the “singer-songwriter” label should actually mean.
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