A PERFECT EVENING WITH JOHN GRANT

The weekend is over, and we’re back in business once more. Why time goes so fast when you’re enjoying? This is something I cannot comprehend.

There was nothing planned for these past days but John Grant’s performance at the Faraday festival, in Vilanova, so basically, all the other activities were decided on the go, very spontaneous, and plenty of fun.

Not necessary to tell you about Saturday night, plenty of punk rock and yeah, of booze, but I’d rather focus on the magic experience I lived in Faro beach on Sunday evening.

I had never heard of Grant before, and wasn’t acquainted with his previous band, The Czars, either. Just started to notice great reviews on the album Queen of Denmark everywhereat the end of past year. To be honest, the album cover seemed too odd as to take it serious, but, let’s say, certain trustworthy sources awoke my curiosity and ended acquiring my copy of the album.

When I first listened to it I really was in shock, very impacted, not only for the dark and personal lyrics, but also for the beautiful piano melodies. Of course, the presence of Midlake was an added value, so as you already know, got immediately charmed by the songs.

The confirmation of Grant (thanks Agnès, you were the messenger of such great news) at this festival located in a nice town by the sea, was a complete surprise, and of course I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

Fortunately I quickly found the perfect partner to enjoy the show with, my friend Marc, a music lover, away from the hardest stuff I like, yet one of the people  with  the finest taste.

We had been together hanging out the night before, so both of us initially were lazy and dumb due to massive hangover. The effort had its reward.

The location of the festival was really beautiful, pity it was a cloudy evening, because performances were held in the garden of an old and beautiful house by the sea, in fact the main access was by Faro beach. Everyone was very relaxed, sitting on the grass, kids all around, views were amazing, the beach, the sea, the beautiful lighthouse…totally idyllic, creating the perfect atmosphere for what was to come.

John Grant jumped on stage, dressed so humble and average, you wouldn’t realize he’s such a talented artist if you were passing by him on the street. A big man, a huge man, with a sincere smile, he opened the show with a speech in Catalonian, something unprecedented for me. Yeah! Sure I’ve seen many artists greeting people in the language, but I really found this very respectful.

He was only accompanied by another musician, named Chris, and the both were sharing piano (keyboard) and synthesizer. Yet, the execution of songs was unbelievable. Everything sounded perfect, and the arrangements adapted to this circumstance, were great.

Apart from the speech, he started his set with an unreleased song, waiting to be included in his next album, following the previous pattern, and then he focused on The Queen of Denmark songs, also adding 3 tunes of the Czars. I loved one named Little Pink House, inspired by his grandmother’s house.

With great calm and solemnity, one song after the other were charming people, and Grant’s introducing words to his songs, were really moving, confirming this guy has lived rough. Constantly telling about his previous life in Michigan, being a gay born and raised in a strict religious family, he admitted his writing was focused on the darkness of his life.

What can I say? I cross my heart, there were such intense moments, I was having goose bumps.

His voice, firm, deep and defined, didn’t have any weak point at all. And the guy barely looked at the piano when playing. Awesome!

There was a constant thought coming to my mind…you see a rough guy, like a huge bear, a man whose gaze transmits many things related to suffering and pain, yet with such sensitivity and ability to express feelings, in some way it’s disturbing and at the same time so beautiful…it was something unreal.

I have but positive words and thoughts for the show he offered on Sunday, improved by the beautiful surroundings and the atmosphere, it was something close to perfection. My weekend couldn’t have ended in a better way.

4 responses to “A PERFECT EVENING WITH JOHN GRANT

  1. Yay!! I’m glad it was such a wonderful concert!! 🙂 I know the place is wonderful and you were in good company so… 🙂 I wish I could’ve come too, I’m sure I would’ve loved it! I’m missing you millions here in Madrid! Love ya!

    • I miss you too!!! Can’t imagine how it’s gonna be in one month time…horreur!!!

      You’d had loved Grant the other day so much…such beauty I can really put it into words. It’s amazing the way this guy sings about very raw and painful things in such a beautiful way…

  2. Hi! I have read your chronicle and i find it wonderful!
    Do you know wich was the setlist of John Grant … i would like to make a present to a special french girl … 😉

    • Dear Raúl,

      your kind comment is much appreciated, as you might have seen, this is just a blog reflecting my life, it wasn’t a proper review but a portrait of a beautiful moment in my lifetime, that’s the reason I didn’t write down the set list as I did with Ryan Adams, my apologies.

      I’ve been trying to check through internet in order to find the set list for you with no success, and I’m terrible to remember the right sequence of songs. He opened with an unreleased song to be included in his next album (hope it’s released soon), Marz was the second one, Chicken Bones was in the middle, so was Tc and Honeybear, together with Eloise by the Czars, and positive he finished the set with Drugs (also by his previous band) followed by Queen of Denmark.

      I guess you’re thinking of a compilation set for your special friend…my advise: pick up Queen of Denmark, put it into a blender, and put them in the order that suits you most…you won’t miss at all. Despite the darkness of his lyrics, if she has a feeling for beutiful music, she’ll appreciate the interest you’ve taken into showing her something marvelous…at least I would! 🙂

      Anyway, if I’m able to find the set list, do not hesitate I’ll post it.

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