Monday, February 23, 2009

M. Ward Goes to Temple

M. Ward's saturday night show at the Sixth and I Synagogue started out well enough. The acoustic set that he started the evening with worked well in the cavernous sounding room--Ward's velvety croon resonated up into the balcony. 'Fuel for Fire,' 'Let's Dance,' and the instrumental 'Duet for Guitars, No. 3' were great examples of how one guy and one guitar can be mesmerizing. When the full band came out, the acoustics of the Sixth and I took over. It's probably great to carry the voice of a cantor to the cheap seats, or for one guy and one guitar, but for a full, amplified band it was too much. Some tracks, particularly ones where Ward's voice is on prominent display, pushed through the muck, but many, like 'Magic Trick' and 'Chinese Translation,' suffered. We couldn't help but wonder how this show would have been in a sweaty, beer-smelling, sticky-floored club.

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