José González – World Café Live, Philadelphia Pa.

This past Saturday was my first time downstairs at World Café Live, and I must say that I was impressed with the size of the auditorium, compared to the size of the show space upstairs. The crowded room was awash in lights from a hue taken straight out of Piscasso’s Blue Period, casting a subtle glow on the lovely Mia Doi Todd, the show’s opening act.

The venue was absolutely packed as Todd finished her set and the place was abuzz with excitement as the crowd waited for José González to appear. Upon his entrance to the stage, the crowd roared but immediately silenced once José sat down and picked up his guitar. He opened with a plucky number that evoked a sadness as he sang, “The sun is fading way too fast / The stars are bright / But none of them are going to last.” The audience erupted in applause as the song wound down and José addressed the audience in his soft voice and sweet accent.

Spanish-inspired songs laced with guitar plucking and sweetly sad lyrics dominated the set, as José was joined by two friends on stage, playing keyboards and percussion. While most of the set consisted of beautiful and soft songs, the trio on stage ventured into moodier tunes tempered with a powerful vibrato. Each song played was just as dynamic and melodic as the last. Halfway through his set, José awkwardly spoke about the “green” aspect of the tour; he told the crowd that he’d look at the statistics and though his tour was paying for credit to off-set carbon emissions, it was the crowd causing 90% of the carbon pollution from having driven to the venue.

Following that slightly depressing news, José kicked up the tempo, getting the crowd’s hands clapping for “Lovestain” which gave way to dancing as the next jam featured an upbeat tempo and maracas. As José and friends finished up their last song, they crowd went nuts and called for an encore. A few minutes later, José walked back out for the finale and the crowd managed to get even nuttier. It’s no surprise that José González has such a rabid fanbase; both his music and lyrics are beautiful, heartfelt and moving.

Catch José on tour through the end of the month.

Tour Dates:
Mar 14th – Musee Juste Pour Rire/Montreal, Que.
Mar 15th – Phoenix/Toronto, Ont.
Mar 17th – Lakeshore Theater/Chicago, Il.
Mar 18th – Pabst Theatre/Milwaukee, Wi.
Mar 19th – Graham Chapel, Washington U./St. Louis, Mo.
Mar 20th – Sokol Underground/Omaha, Ne.
Mar 21st – Fox Theatre/Boulder, Co.
Mar 22nd – Union Ballroom/Salt Lake City, Ut.
Mar 24th – San Diego Women’s Club/San Diego, Ca.
Mar 25th – The Wiltern/Los Angeles, Ca.
Mar 27th – The Fillmore Auditorium/San Francisco, Ca.
Mar 28th – Aladdin Theater/Portland, Or.
Mar 29th & 30th – Triple Door/Seattle, Wa.
Mar 31st – St. Andrew’s Wesley United/Vancouver, BC

José González: website | myspace

[where: 2125 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103]

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One Response

  1. I’m quite excited to see him live in about a week!

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