And to think, I almost did not attend this show!
This was her first time in our fair city. She was scheduled to play the Montreal International Jazz Festival this past summer, but it was cancelled for an unknown reason. I suspect she had engagements back at home in the United Kingdom, as she was booked to play Montreal in-between scheduled performances, all in the U.K.
Regardless, she made it to Montreal now, and she put on quite the show to a full Metropolis.
She performed, along with her backing musicians, almost every song from her debut Our Version of Events, along with the iTunes bonus track, “Tiger”. Her backing band included an acoustic guitar/bass player, keyboardist and percussionist, they very much deserve credit as well for a great job. She also performed “Wonder”, which is a Naughty Boy song featuring her on vocals. Naught Boy was the main collaborator on her album.
Two covers included Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall”, who she supported on select dates of their Mylo Xyloto tour, and Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” (yes, it did the original justice! Nina would have been proud!). Nina Simone is her biggest musical influence.
Emeli’s voice is phenomenal. I was quite blown away! Her album is great, there is no doubt, but to see her live is to realise just how talented a singer she really is.
Her love rendition of “My Kind of Love” had her getting the audience participating, as with the Coldplay cover (humming the guitar riff! As she does not play guitar). And the former brought the house down (figuratively of course), with an extra lengthy applause at the end. I was standing relatively near the front, so I am not sure if it was a standing ovation, but if not, it would have been deserved.
Her main set ended with “Next to Me”, presently one of my favourites from her, and it delivered live as well!
Her encore consisted of “Breaking the Law” and a very emotional “Read all About It (Pt. III)”.
The show as a whole was sensational. Her stage banter was perfect, introducing songs just right. “Clown” being about how no matter success you have, how far you have come, there will always be people unfortunately people finding joy in your pain, but at least you are trying. And before “Wonder”, she mentioned how she feels everyone is wonderful, and if you are feeling wonderful to put your W’s in the air (hands in the form of the letter).
The show was moving, positive and uplifting all at the same time.
I was too far away for decent pictures, so instead here is a couple of videos of her live.
“My Kind Of Love” Live at iTunes Festival 2012 (September 5, 2012):
Someone’s video of “Next to Me” at The Sugar Club in Dublin, Ireland December 13, 2011:
And a VEVO version of Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall: