Dec 30, 2007

Jose Gonzalez @ Enmore Theatre

I would admit that I am not a Jose Gonzalez expert by any means. Of course, I loved "Heartbeats" like most people and I own the album that features that song. Plus I did purchase his latest album "In Our Nature", which although not a revelation is a pleasant and soothing collection of songs. However I had heard that his live shows were impressive, so I decided a little while ago to take in his show at the Enmore Theatre on Saturday night. My impression. A satisfying and enjoyable show, that didn't elevate to any moments of greatness, but still delivered a rewarding night of good music and expert musicianship.

I would say the definite highlight of the night was the display of expert and very skillful guitar playing. Jose's Argentinian heritage was self evident as he stroked and caressed his guitar to produce a variety of delectable and desirable sounds. The majority of the show was in solo mode, with Jose's quietly powerful voice filling the old theatre. For some of the night he was joined on stage by two percussionists who added backing to his songs, plus some lovely harmonies. Of course he played "Heartbeats" which was well received. But other highlights were songs from his new album such as "Down the Line", "In Our Nature" and "Cycling Trivialities". I guess my only quibble is that the songs are possessed of a similar nature, lacking a little thrust or spark. It certainly makes for pleasant listening, but sometimes you long for that moment of chills up the spine. I would say that Jose does enjoy a cover as he finished with "Small Town Boy" by the long forgotten Bronski Beat. His encore was very enjoyable though as he went with "Deadweight on Velveteen", "Crosses", "Abram", before tackling another cover in Kylie Minogue's "Hand on Your Heart". He then closed with "Teardrop", which was very striking and powerful, an ideal way to close. So, it was an enjoyable night spent with an master musician. Even if I didn't leave the theatre with my head spinning, I certainly left with a smile on my face.

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