M. Ward / Luke Doucet West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, MB - July 24, 2006

Prior to the release of his latest disc, Post-War, M. Ward rolled through Winnipeg and visited material from throughout his catalogue. Before Ward hit the stage, singer and guitarist Luke Doucet opened the evening. Doucet played a set that proved his renowned dexterity as a guitar player, drawing from numerous genres. For his last song, Doucet called his ten-year-old daughter on stage to sing a duet on an inspiring cover of Tom Waits’ "Gun Street Girl” that showed both their voices in rich form. Later in the evening, M. Ward strolled onto the stage and launched into a lengthy set that conveyed the range of his songwriting. Performing without a band, Ward paced from one side of the stage to the other during instrumental breaks. Near the start of his set, Ward visited some of his early material, performing a version of "O'Brien/O'Brien's Nocturne” from End of Amnesia that conveyed his captivating, world-weary voice. Along with trips back to early albums in his catalogue, Ward also unveiled songs from Post-War and introduced a brand new tune that he joked was the slowest song he’d written. Despite briefly stumbling on the chorus to "Chinese Translation,” his playing and singing were generally in peak form. Midway through the evening, Ward briefly put away his guitar and sat at the venue’s grand piano where he played a wrenching version of a Daniel Johnston song, along with a stirring version of his "A Voice at the End of the Line.” Afterwards, Ward returned to his guitar and played a handful of other songs, including a subtle version of "I’ll Be Your Bird.” The night ended with Ward’s voice rumbling low and deep on the encore of Howlin’ Wolf’s "Spoonful.” The tune’s final chords echoed as Ward looped them then left them to play on as he departed the stage, concluding his strong performance.