At Downtown LA’s Teragram Ballroom, a night of Montreal music strikes again.
Canadian singer-songwriter Patrick Watson brought his peculiar brand of cabaret pop in support of his latest record, Love Songs For Robots. For the last stop of the tour the Teragram proved to be a cozy end cap for Watson, replete with a crowd intent on participating with Watson’s audience participation and following him down a rabbit hole of an elegiac set.
Following the electrifying Bjork-Cyndi Lauper outfit Blood and Glass, the mood of the show had been firmly set at “Molly Shannon manic” and seemingly wasn’t going to budge.
With a stage set with floating baubles and tiered platforms, it reminded one of an acceptance speech in 2007 – familiar and deliberate in aesthetics. This isn’t to say it was antiquated – quite the opposite. The feeling of nearly a decade ago was comforting, much like revisiting a Rufus Wainwright record or a copy of Dan In Real Life that’s seen better days.
The crowd erupted when Watson took the stage, displaying a type of response warranted for Josh Tillman or a young Jeff Tweedy. Dressed in a baseball cap and sleek track pants, Watson’s shaggy athletic chic was unexpected, but mirrored his set surprisingly well
An Antelope Valley native, Watson had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Beginning out at the piano, Watson warbled through the first few songs of his set like a dusty Andrew Bird.
It was easy to tell those in attendance had fallen in love instantaneously. Perhaps susceptible to a threnody in song form or otherwise looking to be moved, nonetheless tears began flowing during the first few songs in the set.
“I didn’t think this last show would get so emotional,” said Watson as he saw the throngs of floppy hats balling their eyes out.
Utilizing the supreme talent of Blood and Glass vocalist Lisa Moore, Watson’s songs were underscored by a hauntingly troubled motif. Often, Watson’s songs resembled a large sphere of tension that eventually burst into an anthemic dirge underscored by a light show.
Other than the moments when Watson was joined by his percussionist on the saw (Any hardware store musical options are impressive) the Teragram became relatively solemn for the evening, but for good cause. Numbers such as “Oh The Places You’ll Go” and “Big Bird In A Small Cage” don’t lend themselves to a astutely optimistic time, they do however, carry a large amount of realism.