Normally I would post rather soon after a concert, but have been out and about, so my apologies as the David Gray concert at Queen Elizabeth Theatre took place back on May 14. Regardless of the truancy I was not about to let this show pass without comment, as Gray is certainly a top notch musician and performer. This was the fourth time I have seen Gray live, which allows him to now be tied with others at the top of the all time IR concert list. Going in I was interested, and a little hesitant, to see and hear how the performance would unfold without his former long-time partner, Clune. He parted ways with the drummer and fellow song-writer after their last big tour and before embarking on the latest album, Draw the Line. Gray brings intensity to the stage, but Clune brought some zanyness, and their two energies were certainly complementary. I was relieved to find that the current group of musicians working with Gray were outstanding, but I really should have expected nothing less. A heavier sound, greater use of electric guitars, a greater diversity in the keyboard, and some new takes on old favourites combined to make it a great set. It was refreshing and captivating to hear the classics Be Mine, and Babylon done in new ways.
Some personal favourites on the night were Kathleen and Nemesis, both off the latest album. It was interesting to hear Gray say he also prefers these two from his newest effort. His voice, music, lyrics, and talent really come through on these pieces in particular. I am still waiting for him to one day play something from Sell, Sell, Sell, but I doubt it is going to happen. The other two personal favourites on the night were the throwbacks. He does not always play Flame Turns Blue, but it is a beautiful song, haunting in a way unlike some of his other work. Finally, any time he plays Shine it makes my select list. It is wonderful piece of music that can turn any great Gray show into an utterly fantastic one. As usual it was a complete solo, and acoustic effort on his part. It’s a song that will always belong to him. Perhaps one day it will warrant its own post.
They played for over two hours, they played twenty plus songs, and each was full out, big sound, top notch voice, great instruments. The final song of the encore, Please Forgive Me, was no doubt the audience favourite, had everyone up, clapping and singing along. You had to leave amped and with a smile with such a show stopper. I enjoyed the new take on the songs, and enjoyed the directed meandering these talented musicians were able to take on a number of pieces. If you’ve never seen him, be sure to check him out if you get the chance. The setlist below is partially incomplete, so I would appreciate corrections if you are aware of them. Thanks to the regular D. Gray posse: M., J., J., auxiliary members B., L., and new addition, D. Sorry to have been without S. for the first time.
David Gray – Queen Elizabeth Theatre, May 14, 2010 – Set list:
Now and Always
Life in Slow Motion
Ain’t No Love
Flame Turns Blue
Draw the Line
The One I Love
This Year’s Love
Please Forgive Me
I’m the babe that sleeps through the blitz,
I am a sudden and quite unexpected twist.
I am your one true love that sleeps with someone else,
I am… your… Nemesis
….Baby I’m life, sweet life…. itself.