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Ray LaMontagne in Indianapolis: Reviewed

By on August 9, 2016

LaMontagne_MMJ_WRSP20160807_004
On a beautiful evening last night at downtown’s Lawn at White River State Park, the great Ray LaMontagne took the stage for a solo acoustic set. About four notes into his first song, he stopped, drank some water and apologized to the audience that he was losing his voice, but would do the best he could. The best he could was more than enough for this enthusiastic, but amazing quiet audience, who were there for the music.
LaMontagne_MMJ_WRSP20160807_001 For over ten years, this singer/songwriter has pieced together folk rock that falls somewhere in the middle of Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon to the quiet introspective influence of the late Nick Drake.
His music has been noticeably influenced by Mitchell, with his “Beg, Steal or Borrow” so much like her “Court and Spark” album, one cannot help but draw a parallel with the open tuning and slide guitar in both songs. LaMontagne’s 2014 offering, “Supernova”, was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and his latest release, “Ouroboros” offers a work of private exploration but delivers a stronger sound, thanks in no small part it’s producer, Jim James of My Morning Jacket.
Other members of My Morning Jacket also play on the new album and joined LaMontagne for this show, offering more of the “show” while complementing the music. My Morning Jacket did much of the heavy lifting, but one cannot deny that Ray brought forth his musical genius.LaMontagne_MMJ_WRSP20160809_262
The folk-rock troubadour is private and introverted on stage. He uses lights less to shine attention on himself than to almost conceal himself from his audience. Photographers may only shoot from the right side of the audience, at least 15 rows out, and due to LaMontagne’s lackluster antics on stage, many of the photographs are so similar, we cannot really show you a gallery, but a few photos and the proposed setlist are below.
Grade:  A

Below is the preliminary set list, but due to his voice problems, some of the songs were not performed.
Solo Acoustic

  • Burn
  • Play Video
  • Jolene
  • Play Video
  • Like Rock & Roll and Radio
  • (Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs cover)
  • Play Video
  • Trouble
  • Play Video

“Ouroboros”- Full Band w/ members of My Morning Jacket

  • Homecoming
  • Play Video
  • Hey, No Pressure
  • Play Video
  • The Changing Man
  • Play Video
  • While it Still Beats
  • Play Video
  • In My Own Way
  • Play Video
  • Another Day
  • Play Video
  • A Murmuration of Starlings
  • Play Video
  • Wouldn’t It Make a Lovely Photograph
  • Play Video

Full Band

  • Lavender
  • Play Video
  • Smashing
  • Play Video
  • Airwaves
  • Play Video
  • Drive-In Movies
  • Play Video

Encore:

  • She’s the One
  • Play Video
  • Julia
  • Play Video
  • All the Wild Horses