Ray LaMontagne’s performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl last Saturday night accomplished a feat few singers/songwriters can master: to redefine a musical genre as one’s own. The show started with a low-key solo acoustic set, playing fan favorites “Burn,” “Jolene,” the heartbreaking “Like Rock & Roll and Radio,” and “Trouble.” The mood shifted when members of My Morning Jacket joined LaMontagne, introducing themselves with a dreamy blend of drums, bass guitar, and keyboard.
LaMontagne seldom spoke during the show, only pausing to introduce the band and thank the audience. “This tour is special to me; to be able to make music with your friends is a beautiful thing,” he said. “The Jacket boys and I are glad you could be here for it.”
LaMontagne and My Morning Jacket then took the audience on what felt like a trip to the moon, playing his latest record, Ouroboros, from start to finish with an animation of a solar eclipse as a backdrop. The album mostly consists of ethereal instrumental music with haunting vocals, but the highlight of the show was an electrifying performance of “Hey, No Pressure.”
Ouroboros is reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and captured the crowd’s attention, as if hypnotized by the bluesy, soulful psychedelic rock music. The show ended with songs from his 2014 album Supernova, to which the audience tapped their feet, swayed, and sang along, including on favorites “Ojai” and “Supernova.”
LaMontagne’s set was an intriguing mix of genres beautifully strung together by his style: nonchalant yet excitingly captivating.
“Like Rock & Roll and Radio”
“Hey, No Pressure”
“The Changing Man”
“While It Still Beats”
“In My Own Way”
“A Murmuration of Starlings”
“Wouldn’t It Make a Lovely Photograph”
“She’s the One”
“All the Wild Horses”