Day one of his North American tour, and Jose Gonzalez packs Union Transfer to full capacity; not too shabby. But this was no frenzied or out-of-control crowd. Despite being shoulder-to-shoulder from balcony to floor, the evening was rather docile and intimate; something that Icelandic singer songwriter Olof Arnalds noticed right off the bat during her opening set
“You’re so silent,” Arnalds says to the crowd halfway through her first song. If you haven’t heard her before, Arnalds takes a moment of getting used to. Her voice is unusual range. Something you might expect from a Disney character, yet it is powerful and alluring. Her most captivating feature is the way she manipulates parts of words to reach a specific feeling – sometimes aggression, sometimes delicacy. Charming, witty, and excited to be back in America, by the end of her set Arnalds won over the crowd and had them chanting “don’t go in the crazy car” along with her.
Jose Gonzalez took the stage and the entire room seemed to say yes under their breath as he started the set with “Afterglow” from his February release Vestiges & Claws. In both voice and pace, his performance is reminiscent of Fleet Foxes with a little more focus on a rhythmic bounce entwined with bewitching harmonies.
When it comes to Gonzalez, it’s hard to tell which of his songs are the “crowd favorites” since the crowd sang along to almost every tune, including the solo acoustic trifecta of “Crosses,” “Hints,” (both from Veneer) and “The Nest,” (from In Our Nature). Once the rest of the band came back out to the stage, keyboardist Barbarossa got to showcase his rich tenor voice with his song “Home.” Seeming grateful for the incredible turnout on the first day of his North American tour, Gonzalez finished out the evening with an encore of “Heartbeats,” and “Leaf Off / The Cave.”
Vestiges & Claws is available on both Spotify and ITunes; check out more details here. If you missed the show Monday night, take a look at the photo gallery and set list below.
Killin for Love
Hand on Your Heart
Stay in the Shade
Ink of a Ghost
Down the Line
Leaf Off / The Cave