by Tarik Moody
For everyone who missed it last night, James Vincent McMorrow played a truly inspiring set at Turner Hall. Expectations were high and it was unclear if the Irish singer songwriter could recreate the solemn scenes found within his albums. McMorrow delivered and then some. The ballroom was packed with adoring fans. So much so, that any late-comer hoping for a glimpse of the artist had to retreat to the upper balcony. McMorrow, however, lived up to the hype. The Dublin native accompanied by a very talented and multi-instrumental supporting group really put on a show worth the money.
For those lucky enough to arrive before McMorrow, the opening act of Aidan Knight was truly heartfelt. In addition to a few ethereal songs played by Knight and his accompanied band, Aidan played an impromptu solo and unmic’d song that set the mood for the rest of the show. Picking up where Knight left off, McMorrow began his set a with a few low- key songs off his newest album Post Tropical. McMorrow’s heavenly voice and experimental sound had the crowd in a daze. The latter portion of the set was dedicated to his more popular songs. When looking around the crowd during a powerful rendition of Steve Winwood’s classic hit, “Higher Love”, the typical smiling faces one would expect were replaced with a pensive and introspective audience. McMorrow willed the spectators into a reflective mood with his enthusiasm and showmanship. Fittingly, the performance of "Cavalier" brought the audience to “remember their first love”, as the lyrics go. The night was capped off with 2 solo encore songs, showing McMorrow’s dedication to giving the crowd what they want.
Most notable of last night’s performance was the band’s workman approach to the concert. McMorrow spent very little time with small talk in between songs. One song typically led into the other, creating a cohesive set that flowed smoothly. It was clear that McMorrow was ready to let his talent speak for itself and to create a truly musical experience without frills or filter. Accordingly, the crowd paid their respects to the hard working group. During the songs, very little noise could be heard amongst the audience. It seemed as if the spectators were so entranced with McMorrow’s beautiful voice that they could not bring themselves to insult the mood by including their own voices. James Vincent McMorrow’s show last night at Turner Hall was more than just a concert, but an experience that could be felt long after the group left the stage.