Although it was David Gray’s night, opening performer Lisa O’Neill truly stole the stage. Gray, Grammy-nominated U.K. singer-songwriter, performed songs from albums including “Foundling” and “Draw the Line” in addition to some of his earlier work.
Once the lights dimmed, I couldn’t help but notice how the seats around me were unfilled ““ apparently people only felt like showing up for their favorite man Gray, but it was their loss. Dublin native O’Neill opened for Gray with her Irish accent and folksy tunes.
O’Neill’s performance was the treat of the evening as she delivered songs from her album “Lisa O’Neill Has an Album.” O’Neill’s songs creatively covered typical topics in new ways, evident in her song titles: “I Painted My Nails So Pretty,” “It’s Not Your Fault That You’re A Man” and “Sparkle.”
O’Neill sat under a dim spotlight with guitar in hand and made the effort to connect with audience members (the ones that felt her performance worth their time). Before performing “It’s Still Milk,” O’Neill informed the audience that she used to work in a coffeehouse and this song was about the ridiculous people she encountered there.
David Gray and his crew shifted gears once O’Neill left the stage. While O’Neill was simply lit, Gray came onto the stage with five other assisting performers “”mdash; their entire performance was marked by a constant mood shift in lighting as the background changed colors and settings for each song.
As Gray performed songs such as “The One I Love,” “Lately,” “Holding On” and “Late Night Radio,” it was hard not to notice his seriously jerky head movements. Though his scratchy but soothing folk-rock music was pleasant to listen to, I couldn’t help but be distracted by his bobblehead-like motions.
Performance effects aside, Gray’s talent was apparent and his enthusiasm and powerful voice earned several shout-outs from the audience. However, after a while it was hard to distinguish one song from another as Gray’s music emanated a generally relaxing mood.
Overall, the concert was a well-organized venue that brought forth some new talent before showcasing Gray’s matured fame.