English singer/songwriter David Gray has flown just under the radar of modern pop music after making the big time with his hit single "Babylon" back in 2000. He has made only five studio albums in the last fifteen years, so when new music and a new tour is announced by the artist, fans flock in droves to see him perform. Sunday night at the Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre was the perfect setting for Gray's downbeat, mellow, but intricate brand of rock music. The packed house was full of his admirers both new and old and all in attendance were ready to let themselves get lost in his musical adventures.
The two hour set began with David Gray and his seven-piece band performing seven of the eleven songs from his latest studio album entitled "Mutineers." He set the mood early with the softly, slow build-up of "Birds Of The High Arctic" and the ukulele-led "Last Summer." It wasn't until the title-song, "Mutineers," that Gray and his band turn up the volume to bring the song to a rocking close. Long-time fans enjoyed his trilogy of songs from his 2005 album "Life In Slow Motion" as the harmonizing within his band was amazing during "Ain't No Love." At times they sounded like a church choir, fleshing out Gray's chorus on another new track, "The Incredible."
The audience was treated to some solo David Gray as he sat alone at his piano for the quiet delivery of "Snow In Vegas," before taking his acoustic guitar to the mic for the uplifting "Shine." Gray's comment on Connecticut being a "quiet audience" turned on him, when he asked for them to sing along to the chorus of "Babylon" as almost everyone in attendance knew the words and could be heard. But, it would be the set closer "Please Forgive Me" that would get everyone on their feet, moving to the club-like dance rhythms and only wanting more from Gray and his band. Their wishes would be granted with a two song, twenty minute encore that began with the trio of piano, cello and bass providing a gentle delivery of "This Year's Love." Then fans were given a 15-minute rendition of Gray's concert favorite "Nemesis" as his vocals take you on journey that you wish would never end. His performance was met with a standing ovation and a Connecticut crowd that had come out of their quiet shells to show their appreciation for this amazing singer/songwriter and his outstanding backing band.
Setlist: Birds Of The High Arctic, Girl Like You, Last Summer, Cake And Eat It, Back In The World, As The Crow Flies, Mutineers, My Oh My, Fugitive, Alibi, The One I Love, Ain't No Love, The Incredible, Snow In Vegas, Shine, Babylon, Sail Away, Slow Motion, Silver Lining, Please Forgive Me Encore: This Year's Love, Nemesis