The first “Acoustic Cafe Folk Series” concert of the season brought the Americana artist to the refurbished St. Cecilia Music Center stage on Thursday. Review, photos.
Armed only with a guitar, a solitary figure on a stool managed to fill a mostly bare stage in Grand Rapids on Thursday with powerful tales, humor and moving tributes.
A truly invested performer, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim not only delivered stories behind many of the songs, but performed each one with passion at St. Cecilia Music Center on Thursday night for a solo acoustic performance that kicked off the 2016-2017 Acoustic Cafe Folk Series.
Langhorne also was very candid, even humorous, in the rapport he built with his audience, leaving the room laughing on more than a few occasions.
But he also knew how to deliver raw emotion to every seat in the house. Discussing his beloved grandparents on more than one occasion, he played a a special song close to his heart toward the end of the show.
The original song was dedicated to the three grandparents he had lost, as well the grandmother he still holds close back home, a song he calls “Song For Sid,” which asks in the chorus: “Where do the great ones go when they’re gone?”
The moving tribute had some tears flowing ammong those seated in the refurbished Royce Auditorium (that Langhorne apparently had asked to keep darkened as much as possible).
ENCOURAGING AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Using the topic of great ones lost, he turned his tribute to the recent passing of singer-songwriter icon Leonard Cohen, saying that when he heard the news, he wept as if he had lost a close friend. He then played a cover of a Cohen tune, “Tonight Will Be Fine.”
Another powerful moment of the show came early, when Langhorne began performing a quiet original ballad. As he began, one could hear a number of fans in the crowd whispering along with the lyrics.
Before continuing, he mentioned that even though they were gathered at a quiet venue, “and you are all sitting down, don’t listen to that voice inside, telling you to stay quiet. Instead, let me hear you sing if you want to sing.”
So, at the start of the next verse, in a rather dramatic change, fans throughout the auditorium began to sing lines along with the man on stage.
The emotion that Langhorne put into the St. Cecilia performance was clear to see in more ways than one, and he let fans have fun with him during his visit as well.
Rest assured, the next time he visits Grand Rapids, he’ll have even more fans waiting in line to sing back those words.
PHOTO GALLERY: Langhorne Slim at St. Cecilia Music Center
Photos by Anna Sink
Copyright 2016, Spins on Music LLC