Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Xavier Rudd in the Danforth

This past Sunday, I had the incredibly pleasure of seeing one of the most talented and versatile musicians play in one of the most interesting venues in Toronto, as Australia's Xavier Rudd came to rock out in the Danforth Music Hall.

Now I was first introduced to Xavier about a year ago and I have always thought that he was good, but in all honesty, I had no freakin' idea as to how great he was until this past weekend.

For starters, the Danforth Music Hall is a simply amazing venue, it reminded me completely of a 50's era movie theatre, which makes for interesting acoustics, and an even more interesting vibe. It was probably the most interesting group of people I've ever seen in one place, as the outfits ranged from sports coats to ponchos, and the hair styles ranged from cru-cuts to dreadlocks.

The show opened up with an interesting performance by a man named Mishka, now his sound was very Bob Marley-rastafarian-boy with guitar, and it was simply amazing. He said that his new CD was coming out March 21, so be sure to check it out. All that I could find of his was this video...

Impressive stuff, eh?

Anyway, after wards the show opened up with a large aboriginal man coming out and playing the diggerydoo, and explaining some of the ways to play. It turns out, he was Xavier Rudd's uncle, and he accompanies him on a variety of shows.

Anyway, the uncle was telling us about how he blows the diggerydoo, and then made a joke about how diggerydoo players make the best lovers. He then left and introduced the main event.

To say Xavier was impressive would be an understatement. Me, being ever so ignorant, I always assumed that when I heard the drums, guitar, diggerydoo, and other instruments in Xavier's songs, I assumed that he had an accompanying band. It turns out, he only had a drummer, who played only a few songs. At various points Xavier Rudd played the drums, guitar, diggerydoo, harmonica, and a variety of symbols, all in the same song. To say it was breathtaking would be an understatement.

Now keeping track of a setlist was very challenging, since a) I hadn't heard his new album before the show, and b) there were intense periods of random diggerydoo and drum jams in between the songs. But I know that I freaked out when I heard my favourites like "Messages" and "Let Me Be" (videos below)


"Let Me Be"

The show included the requisite encore, I got the video of him playing "Clean Air" which went for an incredible seven and a half minutes, with various teases of being finished. The video ends early because the security guard came to yell at me, but the song only lasted a few more seconds afterwards. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The video wouldn't post, expect it soon)

Needless to say, I have a new favourite artist, and I could not recommend him enough to any of you out there. This ranks only behind the Stars concert I saw in November as my favourite concert ever, and judging by the clientèle at this show, no matter who you are, I think you would have enjoyed it.

Until next time,


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