Review: Ray LaMontagne at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Singer Captivates Listeners at the on Saturday, October 18

Ray LaMontagne at the Bowl
Paul Wellman

Ray LaMontagne returned to the Bowl last Saturday night and left the near-capacity audience high with delight. On tour for his latest album, Supernova, LaMontagne kept the sound levels up and folks on their feet as he rolled through his 17-song set, nine of which where cuts from the new CD.

Supernova is more up-tempo than LaMontagne’s previously releases, and the show reflected that rock-and-roll energy. The singer and his band opened with “Lavender,” a luscious song awash in a psychedelic patina, one of the first singles from “Supernova.” The growly “She’s the One” was next, followed right on its heels by “For the Summer,” a favorite from 2010’s God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise.

A pace change came two-thirds into the evening when LaMontagne performed a three-song acoustic line-up of “Burn,” “Trouble,” and “Jolene,” accompanied only by his stand-up bass player. Despite his quiet demeanor, LaMontagne commands the stage with his musicianship. Throwing sonic energy into the crowd like a bright star, he effortlessly took his vocals from whispers to near screams with a passion worn on his sleeve.

With a kaleidoscope of colors swirling behind him, LaMontagne hooked the audience with his range of musical hues and lit up the night like a supernova.


1. Lavender

2. She’s the One

3. For the Summer

4. Pick Up a Gun

5. Supernova

6. Airwaves

7. Ojai

8. Repo Man

9. Smashing

10. Burn

11. Trouble

12. Jolene

13. Meg White

14. Julia

15. God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise


16. Hey Me, Hey Mama

17. Drive In Movies


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