Ray LaMontagne at Jones Hall, 8/3/2014

Photos by Jack Gorman
Ray LaMontagne, The Belle Brigade
Jones Hall
August 3, 2014

Many singer-songwriters talk throughout their shows, telling stories about how particular tunes were developed or tales of adventures with strange characters, but Ray LaMontagne is a different breed. To characterize him as being a man of few words simply does not fit.

Sunday night, performing at a Jones Hall packed with beautiful people, the singer-songwriter appeared very shy and chose not to speak between songs. Instead he let the depth of his lyrics and heartfelt guitar playing express his sentiments.

LaMontagne's gravelly, wispy voice blended perfectly with the playing of his bandmates, two of whom pulled double duty as opening performers the Belle Brigade. The sibling duo returned to play the drums and rhythm guitar/keyboards in LaMontagne's five-piece band. Their colleague Zachariah Hickman drew some eyes as he plucked, slapped and spun his standup bass with the flair of an experienced showman.

Throughout the set, the band members switched guitars between songs, allowing ample time for fans to scream, holler and clap. Early on the audience was seemingly entranced by the music, but gradually the concert became more upbeat with the title track of LaMontagne's most recent album, Supernova, and hit a crescendo with crowd favorite "Repo Man."

Throughout the show, LaMontagne's face remained twisted and distorted, delivering the lyrics as if from his soul. He left everything on the stage, even gasping that he needed a moment to catch his breath after hammering out "Repo Man."

"Thank you. I'm working up a sweat for you," he said. "That's what I do every single fucking night, work for you."

These were basically his only spoken words other than expressing his appreciation towards the audience. Mostly made up of young and middle-aged professionals, Sunday's crowd was very attentive and respectful, not always something that occurs with Houston concertgoers. Talking was at a minimum, and the illuminating lights of cell phones in the cavernous hall were few and far between.

It made me wonder if Houstonians have finally learned concert etiquette, or if this group was simply aware of LaMontagne's history of lashing out at people yapping at his shows. And did I mention that the audience was a very attractive group?

Story continues on the next page.

Location Info


Jones Hall For the Performing Arts

615 Louisiana St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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I went to this show. My wife is a fan. I like a few of his tunes. I thought it sucked. Inoffensive "The Mix" radio-style adult contemporary milquetoast crap. The wife was disappointed, too. The crowd wasn't "beautiful", it was dooshy. Definitely not the sort of crowd that usually goes to Jones Hall. Music is a matter of personal taste, so forgive me, but I almost dozed off it was so boring. 


Audience was respectful and super quiet during the slow songs but a little sleepy. When I saw Ray in 2008

at Verizon (bayou music), people were up and dancing in the aisles during the Hey me, Hey Mama encore. Not last night, even though the guitar player tried waving people up. He also played those 2 songs from Gossip in the Grain at that show, but I really liked the psychedelic/jammy new stuff at this show...

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