Patrick Watson & his Wooden Arms Leave Edmonton Singing Praises
Now, I am not what one could call a religious person, probably not even that deeply spiritual. But when Patrick Watson & the Wooden Arms (the new moniker for his bandmates) took to the stage last Saturday evening in Edmonton's beautiful McDougall church, I certainly was not the only person to have a moment with something higher, perhaps their own personal musical god.
The crowd was only slightly larger in number than the last time the Montreal band came through town in December of '07, but just as awestruck by the groups sheer musical ability. Though the hour of classic 'Popeye' cartoon videos was at first quirky before the joke grew a little old, they must have been the 'guests' listed as openers on the audiences tickets.
Nonetheless, no one could complain after the bands nearly hour-and-a-half straight set of their new album Wooden Arms, released earlier this month, blended near the end of the show with tracks 'Great Escape', and 'Luscious Life' off of their second album Close to Paradise.
Mr. Watson and his extrordinarily talented bandmates Mishka Stein, Simon Angell, and Robbie Kuster, played both delicately and viciously, alternating between moments of quiet to mad jam-sessions lasting minutes. Some moments brought the eerieness of Tom Waits, or the spine-tingling purity of voice that only the likes of Jeff Buckley could induce. Everything came together when the band took a tour of the church and played acoustically, with a saw being played as Mr. Watson himself sang into a mic connected to a back-pack bursting with speakerphones on wires. (I kid you not.)
Though the Edmonton show was sadly the boys last stop in Canada on their tour, be sure to check them out whenever they next hit your city. Every foot in that church was stomping, and every pair of hands clapping as they wound their way through a call/response rendition of 'Weight of the World', and after two standing ovations, how much more of a revelation can one ask for? All there is left to say is hallelujah and praise be the masters of music, Patrick Watson & the Wooden Arms.
Band Website: http://www.patrickwatson.net/
(originally posted by me on the NXEW blog.)