It’s been a long time since I wrote a review of a concert I had seen. The last one dates back to November! Whoops. It’s not that I haven’t been seeing any shows. It’s just that many of the shows I’ve been to didn’t entice me to write any reviews. This time, though, I feel compelled to do so. Because wow, I thought his album was amazing, but live it was even better.
It was an early show, starting at 7.30 PM in the small venue in Paradiso. The show lasted little over an hour. He played pretty much all songs from his debut album Nameless Path and also threw in a few new songs that will be released on a new EP some time later this year. He even played a song just to see how it would feel, as he said he wasn’t even sure of it himself.
The album was recorded with a live band and previous shows in Holland have featured said band as well. This time, it was just Marcus on guitar and his buddy on the keys, with both of them doing the vocals. That is why I was curious to see how the songs would work. I had never seen him live before but I have listened to his album
quite a bit on repeat for weeks. The songs worked out amazingly well though. It gave them a bit more edge, making them sound raw and unpolished and that was just what this show was like.
Starting with Shadows of the City, my music obsession of this year’s month of May, it immediately set the mood for what the show would be like. His music is best described as a mixture of blues, soul, with a bit of folk mixed into it. They’re definitely not the happiest songs on the planet, but that makes for a few ‘goosebump’ moments nonetheless (I was broken). The set mixed up some slow, quiet guitar songs with bluesy full out guitar rifs and lots and lots of belting. Add a few jokes and mishaps here and there and you have a fun, musically interesting and passionate show.
That’s why I liked this show so much: it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t anything like the CD, but the amount of dedication and joy coming from the performance was amazing. Some artists you go see because they sound just like the CD. Marcus Foster isn’t one of them. You don’t go to a Marcus Foster show to listen to the songs the way they were recorded. No, you go because you don’t know what’s coming next. He screwed up a few times and had trouble starting some song, but he manages to take that and with an overdose of charm, improvisation skill and jokes turns into something new. A few times he even started improvising half way through the song. The guy playing the keys constantly had to watch him to keep track of what he was up to.
And THAT is the strength of the show. It allows the songs to lead a life of their own and I doubt his shows are all the same. Which is exactly why, the next time he plays anywhere near me, I will be going again. Because next time, it is most likely to be completely different, but no doubt inspiring and engaging nonetheless.
Watch the official video for ‘I Was Broken’ here:
*I didn’t take any video, as I had forgotten my memory card. Bummer, but oh well, better luck next time.