Ray LaMontagne's brand of modest, emotional folk was met with an unusually rowdy crowd Saturday as fans packed the Masonic Temple in Detroit.
Playing to a crowd that liberally exercised the right to bring drinks to their seats, the normally thoughtful and collected LaMontagne seemed to focus intently on the music, despite the shouts from the crowd about what to play or do onstage.
LaMontagne opened his set with the country-sounding "Empty," following it up with "Barfly." His passionate, gravelly moans got big cheers from the crowd. Many other songs received big cheers during the opening chords, including "Hold You in My Arms" and "Shelter."
The most anticipated song on the list that night, though, was his 2004 hit "Trouble." Soulfully delivered, his tender raspy voice, now something of a trademark, lingered in the theatre as the song was performed. The song was met with excitement at the end, with shouts of "We love you, Ray!" LaMontagne's then moved on to playing "Forever My Friend."
A few songs later, audience members began getting out of their seats and gathering in front of the stage. By the end of "How Come," his ninth song of the night, fans packed the aisles clapping along to the beat.
LaMontagne even gave a rare smile during "You Can Bring Me Flowers," and followed by "Lessons Learned," which even visibly brought a few audience members to tears.
Following the encore break, he returned to the stage and played a cover of The Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody," as well as crowd favorite "Jolene." He then finished up with "Burn" and "Can I Stay." LaMontagne never said anything during the course of the night, until the end. "It's been very nice playing for you. Me and my friends appreciate it," he said. With that, he quietly left the stage to excited cheers and hollers.
LaMontagne's music never suffered for a moment from some of the more animated crowd members, always faithfully playing his passionate style of music. With dedication to the music like this, it's not hard to see why he has such devoted fans.
For more information please visit www.raylamontagne.com.
Writer: Wes Holing