Review: M. Ward @ Webster Hall 5/11/12

13May12

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M. Ward played a sold-out show on Friday night at Webster Hall, and I lucked out with this fine view shown above. It was great to see M. Ward solo again. I admit I never saw him perform as She & Him, but I did catch Monsters of Folk at ACL, and I have been eagerly awaiting his return to his solo work. He did not disappoint on Friday. While playing pretty much straight through for almost an hour-and-a-half, he included songs from all of his albums. There was also very little chit-chat, lots of guitar work, and an ever-changing backdrop provided by four windows. Really, I think this back-drop was one of the more impressive ones I’ve seen lately. The show’s setting went from a desert sunset to a view of Manhattan high rise apartments to outer space.  There was very little light on the band members, most of the light was emitted by the windows in the background. So, I am guessing that the band could actually see the audience.

The band played some great ones like Poison Cup, Rollercoaster, To Go Home and Never Had Nobody Like You. Also included was one of his guitar solo songs, which is always nice to watch.  I wondered if there were going to be any musical guests, but then I realized those types of surprises might be reserved for the August Prospect Park show. But a female guest vocalist was invited onstage at one point, and then in one of the encores he invited Conor Oberst to join in. All in all, it was a solid show with an energetic audience and a great set list.

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