Cate Le Bon at Fitzgerald's, 1/8/2014
Cate Le Bon didn't dare wearing out her welcome Wednesday, but then again, it doesn't seem she would have been able to.
Around 8:30 p.m., the crowd was still scattered with groups and couples engrossed in various conversations, waiting for the show to begin. But once opener Kevin Morby took the stage, the room's attention shifted without hesitation.
As the band jumped into "Miles, Miles, Miles," the audience huddled around the stage and applauded the transition into "Sucker In the Void (The Lone Mile)." By just the second track, it was clear that Morby's set would prove to be more than just a cleverly constructed group of songs.
Because Morby is known for his work with The Babies and Woods, his ability as a songwriter isn't in question. Even so, because this is Morby's first tour in support of his debut solo album, Harlem River, it was hard to deny the importance of this performance.
Luckily, Morby's experience seemed to lend knowledge to how he should perform his solo work live, and he opted to utlilize the help of Babies' drummer, Justin Sullivan, as well as Le Bon's bandmate, Hugh Hawkline, on bass. Additionally, Morby made the decision to play every song on electric guitar, despite his album featuring more laid-back acoustic tracks.
Regardless, the Lubbock native was flawless in his execution. With tracks could be pop, and other times psychedelic or straight rock, he has the chops to combine influence from the likes of Bob Dylan and Lou Reed without sounding kitschy or forced.
As Will Canzoneri joined in on organ for "Harlem River," it was apparent that, while Morby has also been influenced by his everyday life experience, he's not someone who sits down with the intent to mimic those he admires. Instead, his performance felt original and refreshing in a time where music seems to be defined by fads.
Throughout his set, Morby proved himself to be soulful with an edge as he worked through tracks including "Wild Side (Oh The Places You'll Go,)" and "Slow Train," which features Cate Le Bon on the album version.
But despite having recorded with Morby, Le Bon didn't make an appearance onstage until her set began.
Review continues on the next page.