Music Monday :: a love letter to M. Ward’s live shows

10 May

M. Ward is my new favorite person.  He is a genius musician, a genius performer, a genius backup-band-finder, a genius songwriter, a genius everything.  I was lucky enough to see him in concert last week and lucky enough to have my mind blown.

I was honestly surprised by the size of the crowd.  It had been almost wall-to-wall when I saw the Swell Season in the same venue a few years ago, so I’d gone expecting the same.  Well, there were plenty of people, and maybe it was because we got there early enough to make our way to the front before we had competition, but it didn’t seem as packed.  Which is strange to me, mostly because M. Ward is, like I said, a genius.

The sad fact is a lot of people just haven’t heard of him before, though.  Or he’s “the guy from She & Him,” maybe, which isn’t a bad thing to be, they’re precious, but he’s so so so much more.  He doesn’t have a single song I don’t like, or even one I like less (I do have my favorites, but that’s… largely fanmix related.  Hence “Never Had Nobody Like You,” which was one of the first songs of the night and made me grin like an idiot).

He did some fantastic covers, covers you wouldn’t think of.  One of the encores was “Roll Over Beethoven,” and I giggled but it was awesome.  One of the first songs he did was a slow, very sexy version of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” that I wish I’d also gotten video of in retrospect, because hot damn.  It’s on his Transfiguration of Vincent album, too, but live?  OH MAN.  I now present you someone else’s video just so you know what I’m saying.

May I also say how deeply I adored his band?  He had two drummers, which made for floor-shaking-ly epic drum effects.  The one at the glittery turquoise set that reminded me of my wallet was a girl.  One who sang backup while drumming a couple of times, no less.  And she was ridiculously fun to watch play.  And, uhm.  His keyboard player/guitarist/backup singer boy?  Maybe a little in love.  I mean, I was in love just watching him jam on the keyboard and be so into it.  Then he got a teensy like one-word solo in a song and I actually felt my knees wobble.

Basically, though?  I don’t think I can say M. Ward is a genius enough times.  I don’t even mean that in the overused way, either, he is legitimately a genius, I’m pretty sure.  That more people haven’t heard of him hurts me inside.

–your fangirl heroine.


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