John Grant 10/24/15, Boulder

Dates: October 24, 2015

Location: Fox Theater, Boulder CO

John Grant

BY BEN CURNETT

The thing about John Grant (ex-Czars) that I like the most is the head-on collision of musical styles in his songs. Deep house tracks run into ballads. Piano torch songs crash into drunken barroom sing-a-longs. On a recent Saturday in October, John and his excellent touring band played these and more for a special homecoming show at the Boulder Fox Theater. The spectacular Bright Light Bright Light opened, and we were all fortunate to have caught a rare all-acoustic/solo performance. I don’t know about the dance versions of his stuff, but that night I was transported into the vibrant world of the artist as transposed against the gray Welsh childhood it was born out of. Powerful stuff, that.

Grant came on after that wonderful opening set and I was immediately struck with a single truth about his music: it’s remarkably unafraid. John embodied that sentiment in his unique stage presence, which was equal parts piano bar emcee, lumberjack, and Alan from The Hangover. Not one note sounded intentionally genre-bending, yet all of the music landed in the margins that most artists miss. Plenty of Grant’s Iceland-by-way-of-Colorado revue was on display for all to see, hear, and feel, with an emphasis on “feel.” Not your typical rock show.

***

Setlist:

Sigourney Weaver

Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

Geraldine

Down Here

Snug Slacks

You And Him

Guess How I Know

Disappointing

Pale Green Ghosts

I Hate This Town

Glacier

Queen of Denmark

GMF

Voodoo Doll

Encore:
That’s the Good News

Marz

Drug
(The Czars)

Paint the Moon
(The Czars)

Caramel

 

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