Jos Gonzlez / Mar. 11, 2008 / New York (Highline Ballroom)
The first three songs were enough for José González to hypnotize the audience during the last of his two shows Tuesday night (March 11) at New York's Highline Ballroom.The first three songs were enough for José González to hypnotize the audience during the last of his two shows Tuesday night (March 11) at New York's Highline Ballroom.
The Swedish songwriter showed up quietly, sat down and tuned his guitar for the opening number, “Deadweight on Velveteen." By the time he reached the third song, “Fold,” the silent auditorium was hooked into his mellow, unclassifiable guitar-centered tunes. But the delicate folk atmosphere quickly turned into a more visual and flavorful scenario as a background projection lit up the stage. González then shook the audience by performing the well known "Crosses" from his first album, "Veneer."
With some 'thank yous' to the crowd, González introduced background vocalist Yukimi Nagamo and percussionist Christopher Berg, who enhanced an already harmonious show. The second half of the set got some hands clapping and some audience members even did some shy dancing. The peak point was the song "Remain" from his first album.
The show kept up the momentum with two highlights from González's second album, "In Our Nature:" "Down The Line" and "Killing For Love," as well as the eight-minute long "Cycling Trivialities" and his cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop." It was a seamless performance, interrupted only by González's jokes about the songs' sleepy nature.
After managing to perform 20 songs in a little more than an hour, the artist said goodbye. He waved farewell to an audience so satisfied that they even overlooked the fact that he hadn't played his cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," which is usually one of the most anticipated parts of his show.