Reviews

October 30, 2017

Martha Wainwright Charms Vancouver audience

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If you aren’t a fan of Martha Wainwright, see her live. She will literally charm you into it.

A diverse crowd filled the Imperial in Vancouver on a sleepy Sunday night. The age range was clearly from 19-60. I even spoke to a father from Kamloops who had traveled to join his daughter at the concert. Martha had gotten to him years ago and he was delighted his child bought them tickets.

For some reason the announced set times got bumped up an hour, so Martha Wainwright came on stage spot on 9pm. Slinging on her acoustic guitar, she launched into her first song and held nothing back.

This artist sings every note with her whole body and soul. Her guitar style reminded one immediately of The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd all at the same time. The lyrics pulled you in and between notes you could have heard a pin drop; the audience was that mesmerized.

Her band joined her next song, taking things to the next level. The night was full of interesting tunings and time signatures. Wainwright’s vocals ranged from breathy lows to crescendos full of restrained vibrato.

“We love you!” “You’re fucking amazing” and other comments were yelled from the crowd between songs. And this is also where the charming happened. Seriously, this woman could easily become a stand-up comedian.

“I only wrote half the songs on my latest album, well, because I’m lazy.” (howls of laughter) “No seriously, I know a few famous people, I mean I’m related to a few famous people, and I thought, ‘I should be using them’ you know, milking them. So I had Rufus write me this song.” (‘Aww’ from the fans). “It’s called ‘Francine’.”

And it was a wonderful torch ballad.

After several songs, she told the band to take a break. “I’m sure they’re tired of me thrusting my hips. But I figure if I can’t fuck people, I should just fuck the air.”

“FUCK EVERYTHING” (laughter ensues from this fans comment).

She also alluded that this might be the last time we see her for a while, citing “you can’t take your kids on the road you know, it’s not very conducive…I’m not saying I’m quitting (I’ve gotta make money) but definitely going to do something else for a while.” (sadness from the crowd and more “We love you!”

Wainwright is one of those rare occurrences that comes of musical progeny. She has taken the gift of her DNA and honed it into a fine instrument. On top of that, she is real, down-to-earth, visceral and dammit, downright charming.

I thoroughly recommend you catch her when you can.

written by Scotty Evil / photos by Red Lenses Photography
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