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David Gray

Paul Wellman

David Gray


Ray LaMontagne and David Gray

Singer/Songwriters Set the Bowl Ablaze


Last Sunday night, a buzzing crowd gathered in the early evening at the S.B. Bowl to hear the much-anticipated double bill of Ray LaMontagne and David Gray. LaMontagne took the stage around 6:30 p.m. and hooked the audience immediately with the wistful “For the Summer,” followed by the solemn “New York City’s Killing Me,” both off his new album, God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise. Then he reeled us in with his 2004 hit “Trouble.”

Ray LaMontagne
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Ray LaMontagne

The notoriously shy singer only spoke to the crowd once, telling a wee yarn about touring that garnered big laughs. “Just came out of a string of casino gigs,” he said timidly. “Now that I’ve [played casinos] three times in my life, I don’t ever want to do it again. There’s a cross-section of people that’s hard to describe … everywhere you look, there’s another pair of tits. … It’s just a lot to take in. But this is lovely. Thank you for coming out.”

Throughout the evening he trotted out more gems from God Willin’, as well as favorites from previous albums. Perhaps the most affecting moment of the show was when the thousands in the stands went silent, spellbound as LaMontagne sang a solo acoustic version of the poignant “Like Rock & Roll and Radio.” Although he is often compared to folk legends Van Morrison and Tim Buckley, LaMontagne proved that he has carved out musical space all his own.

The energy was turned up a notch when British singer/songwriter David Gray took the stage. Like a live wire, Gray was in constant motion, gyrating his head and tapping his foot double time while delivering resonant, powerful vocals.

David Gray
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

David Gray

Gray began his strong set with songs from his 2009 album, Draw the Line (“Draw the Line,” “Fugitive”). He then went deeper into his repertoire with “Now and Always” and the sparkling “Be Mine”. Toward the end of the show, Gray settled into a fantastic four-song run—“Say Hello, Wave Goodbye,” “This Year’s Love,” “Babylon,” “Sail Away”—all from his breakthrough album White Ladder.

Despite having just released a new album at the end of August, Foundling, Gray didn’t perform any songs from that CD. Instead, he culled from his five previous discs, drawing heavily from Draw the Line and White Ladder. The result was a slick, engaging set that reminded us why Gray is a multi-platinum-selling artist.

Ray LaMontagne set list

For the Summer

New York City’s Killing Me

Trouble

Let it Be Me

Beg Steal or Borrow

Repo Man

Jolene

Old Before Your Time

Hold You in My Arms

God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise

Like Rock & Roll and Radio

Henry Nearly Killed Me (It’s a Shame)

Encore

Shelter

You Are the Best Thing

David Gray set list

Draw the Line

Fugitive

The One I Love

Now and Always

Be Mine

Stella the Artist

Say Hello Wave Goodbye

This Year’s Love

Babylon

Sail Away

Encore

Nemesis

Please Forgive Me

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