Vintage Edison bulbs, dim lights, and a diverse crowd set the tone for the Barr Brothers & Patrick Watson to take the stage Friday night at The Lodge Room in Highland Park. A pairing of artists clearly thought of by someone who has great taste, played off each other perfectly.
The Barr Brothers, Andrew, and Brad played a heartfelt set as a duo which is unique for them as their live performances usually consist of a quartet. With Brad Barr strumming and singing soulful ballads, and Andrew playing in sync on the drums with a variety of additional percussion instruments, the tone was set for the evening.
I believe that both artists on the bill that night were from Montreal, Quebec, Canada made for a natural progression and comfortable environment throughout the entire venue. You could see their connection on stage and in turn, felt connected to the people on your left and right.
After a short intermission Patrick Watson and his band, some of who have been playing together for the past 20 years, set up for what was to be the most intimate and emotional performances that Highland Park has seen.
With whiskey on hand and a piano, Patrick started what would be a melodic and entrancing performance for all in attendance. Playing songs from his newest album Wave, “Here comes the River” was a crowd favorite along with “Big Bird in a Small Cage”.
Wooden Arms being his debut album and one of the most acclaimed, got the entire band gathered around the microphone for group harmony and individual singing of the chorus. Erika Alexandersson Angell and Daniela Gesundheit were matched perfectly with Patrick’s voice and tone throughout the entire show.
Evan Tigh on drums, Pietro Amato on keys and horns, Joe Grass on guitar, and Mishka Stein on bass make up the all-star band that plays with Patrick. Their music is like a play on Broadway, in the sense that it tells a story with every note and every voice.
I had a moment with Patrick backstage to create a portrait and mentioned to him that I was unfortunately not able to make his performance at the Walt Disney Concert hall with The Cinematic Orchestra. He assured me that, “this show would be better, and more intimate.” I’m glad to confirm that I believe him to be correct.
They are continuing their tour throughout the US until April where he will play in Nashville on the 23rd of the month.