There is always a certain magic in the air at Massey Hall, a venue renowned for its acoustics and legendary performances, and that feeling was overwhelming as the crowd took to their seats to watch an evening with Monsters of Folk. Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and Mike Mogis had promised a two and a half hour "musical event" showcasing the band's material, as well as their individual catalogues. Taking to the stage with the lights low and the fans cheering in approval, the folk supergroup certainly delivered what was promised.
Starting off with the upbeat favourite "Baby Boomer," the Monsters' focus was all about the music, offering very little crowd interaction and dimming the lights after every song so they could switch instruments and take position. Jim James seemed to be the most outgoing, offering a few funny stories and thanking the crowd, but the goal was to deliver the 32-song set list, which consisted of four or five tracks off their self-titled album followed by three or four individual songs from M. Ward, Bright Eyes and My Morning Jacket, respectively.
It was a perfect combination for fans there to either hear the collaborative or separate efforts. The only unfortunate moment was that the night had to come to an end, but not before the audience gave a ten-minute standing ovation, salivating for an encore. Much like the rest of the night, Oberst, James, Ward and Mogis did not disappoint, taking to the stage one last time and performing a haunting rendition of "His Master's Voice," the final track off their album and the final tune to send off the crowd at Massey Hall.