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silence & sighs, a night with m. ward
6 March, 2009, 11:56 AM
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M. Ward with band and Zooey Deschanel at The Music Box, March 4, 2009

M. Ward with band and Zooey Deschanel at The Music Box, March 4, 2009

From the moment he seated himself at the piano, the audience at The Music Box fell silent, completely enraptured. I am so satisfied with M. Ward’s performance Wednesday night, and I have not felt that way in awhile. If I continue, I will be gushing, but if this man is within 100 miles of your home, you must go see him. Last year at SXSW, I caught him with the “she” in She & Him, Zooey Deschanel, performing songs from Volume One, and it was memorable during a blurred string of lots of shows… Tuesday he performed on “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” and hearing Ward’s voice over the airwaves was arresting. I had high expectations for his show, and he soaringly surpassed those expectations in a fury of fancy fingerpicking and  soulfulness. Behind him on the wall was a projection of a window cycling through the time of day with a bird, a butterfly, stars, and fireflies (depending on whether it was morning, night, etc.). It was like being invited to sit at the foot of his bed and watch him perform these songs from someplace deep within; it felt incredibly intimate and exhilarating. Early on he broke a string, but it hardly mattered; he was on and we all could tell. The emotion at the root of his songs were not lost, and he blew the roof of the joint with many songs off his current release Hold Time, including “To Save Me,” “Hold Time,” “Oh Lonesome Me,” and “Fisher of Men.” Deschanel joined him for “Rave On,” “Never Had Nobody Like You,” and She & Him songs “You Really Gotta Hold on Me” and “I Should Have Known Better.”

Just brilliant.

PS: no cameras allowed, so I only had my iPhone and that explains the lone decent picture.