Saturday night March 13 David Gray, perhaps most well know for his hit song Babylon (White Ladder 1999) and recent duet with Annie Lennox (Draw The Line, 2009), came to Hogg Auditorium on the campus of The University of Texas in Austin. David played both a Saturday night and a Sunday night show. The show started with a giant white curtain hanging from the ceiling to the stage floor. The band started to play with white lights shining from the back of the stage projecting their shadows onto the white curtain which then dropped to the floor and was removed.
This might well have been the best dressed band I have seen in a while. All members of the band, except the drummer were wearing stylish suites, it did look a bit too formal, almost like a band of certified public accountants. In addition to David Gray on vocals, piano and guitar there was Ron Malone on bass guitar and vocals, Neill MacColl on vocals and guitar, Keith Pryor on drums, James Hallawell on keyboards. The set list included:
Fugitive, Sail, Jackdaw, Toil, Slow Motion, Draw The Line, Kathleen, Babylon, Be Mine, Stella, Freedom, Ain’t No Love, Now and Always, World To Me, Nemesis, TYL, Sea, Not Right and Forgive.
Each song was accompanied by a dazzling light show, from a star light background to swirling light patterns in magentas, purple, blue, red, green and every other color in the rainbow in addition to a rapidly spinning disco ball during the hypnotic rendition of “Nemesis.” The spinning white lights projected into the audience made me feel like any moment we would hear “Money” by Pink Floyd! Sometimes, to much of a light show can be a distraction and one starts to focus more on the lights with the songs becoming background music. My favorite song of the show was “Ain’t No Love” a song he composed for a movie. It showcased David’s impeccable folk-rock story teller style and voice.