It was my first time seeing M, and like Frank Chromewaves who caught the Toronto show just a few days earlier, I was surprised at Ward's youth. The sold out crowd was hardcore, and cheered much louder for the older songs than they did for the much newer Transistor Radio tunes.
The man knows how to play the guitar, and if you close your eyes and concentrate while he sings, you can feel the chills run through your veins. It's that feeling that was driving many of the female fans in the audience crazy. In particular, the sex noises coming from the woman to my left were making me especially uncomfortable. I thought she was faking it until Ward thanked the crowd for "coming" to the show. She screamed, "Thanks for making us come." "Shucks," he replied as he went right in to the next song.
I'd say he has a little practicing left to do on the piano, but the few mistakes didn't take away from the show. He may have just been tired, which was evidenced by the bags under his eyes. Add the harmonica to the list of three instruments he used in addition to his voice at this one man show that brought us two encores, and covers of Daniel Johnston, Joanna Newsom, and Louie Armstrong's What a Wonderful World.
Thanks to Frank's review, I was hoping and ready to catch the Joanna Newsom cover, which ended up being Sadie. And catch it is just what I did...on my handy digital (video) camera.
Download the video at this sendit URL:
M. Ward covering Joanna Newsom's Sadie - Video (UPDATED LINK...AGAIN)