Published Oct 04, 2015Montreal's Patrick Watson and his band played the MacEwan Ballroom at the University of Calgary last night (October 3), blending lush orchestration with more traditional rock sounds and a touch of electronics, as on Watson's latest album, Love Songs For Robots. Blood and Glass, composed of members of Watson's band, played the first set of the night.
Audience members weren't exactly sure what to expect from Blood and Glass as a French horn player, followed by a small woman in a bowler hat and cropped jacket, led a procession of musicians to the stage. Launching into "Paper Heart," a song that began with lead singer Lisa Moore delivering spoken word about origami, the band sounded akin to the likes of Kate Bush and Bat for Lashes. Engaging the audience with the strong beats and melodies of their music, Blood and Glass ended their set with a rousing rendition of "Turning Turning."
Soon it was time for Patrick Watson's hardworking band to take the stage once again, but to perform a set with a distinctly different
energy. Starting off with orchestral flourishes built by Watson's piano lines and French horn accompaniment, as well as the harmonious mix of the band's voices, it was obvious that the audience was in for a magical night. The communication between Watson and his band was intuitive, allowing for the dreamlike world of his music to be brought to life.
Watson and his band played through a powerful variety of songs from his discography, mostly focusing on songs from Love Songs For Robots such as "Places You'll Go," "Hearts" and the downtempo title track. "Adventures In Your Own Backyard," "Man Like You" and "Big Bird in a Small Cage" proved more introspective and stripped back, spellbinding the audience.
The set was a melting pot of influences: classical, jazz, folk and rock, all blending together to create a uniquely beautiful performance. Watson mentioned that he had known everyone onstage for at least 15 years, and the musical relationships he had built with his band were evident from their ability to sound like a single dazzling unit.