A review of the show at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle, WA Oct. 12, 2006
By Regina Anderson
When Joseph Arthur walked out on stage sporting a blazing red suit, no shirt and a bandana around his neck, I thought “This is certainly not the Joseph Arthur from a few years ago.“
Gone are the brown corduroy blazers and intense one-man shows which consisted of him, his colorfully-painted guitar and a sampler which he used to layer his songs into beautiful walls of sound. He now had a four-piece backing band.
I was confused and somewhat disappointed. How could he possibly top his intimate solo performances? My skepticism was needless because as soon as he kicked off the set with the upbeat number “Too Much To Hide” from his new album Nuclear Daydream, he transformed from an intense shoegazer to a real rock and roll front man full of swagger and spunk.
By the fifth song, Joseph Arthur, rock god, had arrived, employing some hip-hop posturing, pumping out finger-tapping guitar solos a la Eddie Van Halen and engaging the audience with funny antidotes and sing-a-longs.
On songs like "Black Lexus" and "Slide Away," he showcased his phenomenal vocal range, cascading from a chilling falsetto to his signature raspy baritone, completed by the lush harmonies from his band. His ballads can still mesmerize. "Don’t Give Up On People" and "Electrical Storm" were filled with a soulful intensity that lingered in the air long after they were over.
The highlight of the night however, was his rapturous cover of the Stone’s "Miss You." Suddenly it all became clear. The red get-up, the swagger. He channeled Jagger as he snarled the chorus while clutching the microphone stand and strutting to the boozy baseline.
It was, dare I say it…titillating, causing the audience to hoot and holler as if he were a ring girl at a pro wrestling match.
Joseph Arthur has secured his spot on my top 10 artists to see live. If he pulls into your town, score yourself some tickets. Whether he’s solo or backed by a polka band, I guarantee you’ll walk away amazed and with a smile on your face.
if I could see your eyes
When you showed me myself
I became someone else
But I was caught in between
all you wish for and all you need
I picture you fast asleep
A nightmare comes
You can't keep awake
May God's love be with you, always"
Song * In The Sun
Album * Come To Where I'm From
When we turned blue
I saw right through
When we turned blue
I can see you now
You are me
Song * Electrical Storm
Album * Nuclear Daydream
When you're searching for a friend
As I'm hanging out on a limb
In plain sight
Time won't run away from me
Like you always do
Say you will tonight
They can't see
what we've been through"
Song * Out on a Limb
Album * The Graduation Ceremony