Ray LaMontagne is one of those musical artists that is an acquired taste. His raspy baritone ranges from barely a whisper to a full out scream. LaMontagne appeared last Wednesday as part of the Artpark Coors Light Wednesday in the Park Concert Series in Lewiston, NY. The half-filled venue reflected an unfamiliarity with LaMontagne’s music. With sparse radio airplay and a lack of appearances in the area, the crowd was just not there as it has been for other artists in this series.
Ray LaMontagne @ Artpark Lewiston, NY 6-29-16
LaMontagne appeared onstage with a casual stroll and started talking to the crowd about his experiences of the day. The problem was he was not close to the microphone so his words went unheard, not a good way to start. His opening songs were solo acoustic. The crowd reaction to “Jolene” and “Trouble” showed that many in attendance do appreciate his music. The performance of his latest album “Ouroboros” with backing band My Morning Jacket was an ethereal, and at times, mysterious experience. Reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, the concept album ventured into a progressive musical jam.
LaMontagne finished strong with some of his better known favorites like “Be Here Now” and as part of the encore, “She’s the One” and “All the Wild Horses”. It was a slow start but LaMontagne made up for it with a spirited second half of the show and brought many new fans into the fold. Let’s hope for a return show that will bring out more of his great voice and storytelling songwriting.
Like Rock & Roll and Radio (Ray LaMontange and The Prairie Dogs Cover)
“Ouroboros”- Full Band w/ members of My Morning Jacket:
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
Be Here Now
I Still Care For You
She’s the One
All the Wild Horses
We would like to thank Maria Hays from Artpark for the credentials to review the show.