Author: Calder Sell
The audience attending Breese Stevens Field Friday night were invited to try on a pair of glasses that allowed them to see the inner light of Ray Lamontagne. The soft-spoken musician shared his new album, “Part of the Light”, to a setting sun glowing on a stadium full of fans as they spread their blankets and settled in. Ray and his band created a stage design that provided a different pair of psychedelic glasses to act as portals into each of his songs.
Prior to putting on the glasses, the audience was treated with a performance by Neko Case and her newest album, Hell-On, which was released at the beginning of June. The two folk-rock forty-somethings both proved that they still have stories to tell and new ways to tell them. The most memorable moment from Neko was her shoutout to all of the women who are living, have lived, or ever will live in her ballad, “Winnie”.
Ray’s decision to plug in his guitar to masquerade his recognizable reserved demeanor created the impression of a psychedelic rock concert. His performance of “Such a Simple Thing” and “Let’s Make It Last” during his encore reassured fans that he still has his incredible talent for creating serene soundscapes. He definitely tilted some heads in the crowd as his raspy vocals grumbled over the suffocating noises and lyrics in “As Black as Blood is Blue” and “No Answer Arrives”. Exiting the stadium, it was tough to tell if the disorienting glasses had been taken off or not.