Monday, July 9, 2007

Hawksley Workman at Bluesfest

I had been anticipating the Hawksley Workman show for quite some time, but for some reason I let a new friend talk me into checking out the White Stripes. So there I was, bopping to the Stripes and enjoying their trippy light show, when some person next to us passed out. During the frantic frenzy that followed, I darted out of the crowd to look for paramedics. When I finally got back to my spot to find that the said person was safely escorted away, I just wasn't up for anymore of the Stripes. I didn't like their music much to begin with, and I was pretty seriously under-whelmed by their show.

Hawksley, on the other hand, was anything but a disappointment. Being the great live performer that he is, one sort of expects great things from him. On this night, he delivered, and then some.

The most impressive part of the show was hearing, and for that matter, seeing his vocal range. He kept pushing his vocal chords to pull off great tonal feats. This is trademark Workman, and for good reason.

The funnest part of the concert was when Workman called a young Anakin (10 years old?) out of the crowd and onto the stage to perform with him. Not only did Anakin (not related to Darth Vader) get to sing one song, but he came back to perform another one during the main set, and one during the encore. In fact, during "We Still Need a Song," Anakin was pretty much alone on background vocals, singing passionately about how it was the last chance to be sad/mad like he knew the sorrow Hawksley was singing about quite intimately. During it all, the crowd loved it. Chalk up another great stage display.

Another nice touch throughout the 90 minute set was his choice to play covers as the bridge in certain songs. This worked well to keep the crowd on board, as when he sang the chorus to Aretha Franklin's "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" near the end of the show.

I'll go see Hawksley again if I get the opportunity, his fun mixture of cabaret pop and glam rock can be truly moving.


Stephane said...

Awesome review sir... I especially like your paragraph about Anakin... ya see... he's my son... so... I am kind of biased!


élan vital said...

wicked...he was truly awesome. All of my friends couldn't stop talking about his performance afterwards...he was shy but oh so cool when it came to singing.

i changed the spelling on his name. thanks.


Anonymous said...

Great review! Glad you decided to check out Hawksley, he is definitely an amazingly talented artist and entertainer :)

Miss Vicky said...

I skipped the white stripes altogether. No regrets there - Hawksley was amazing. And Anakin was definitely the hit of the show!