Opening act Mutlu played an acoustic 30-minute set to warm up the crowd for headliner Amos Lee. Born in Philadelphia, this artist of Turkish heritage has often been listed as one of the up and coming artists to watch out for. He performed alone armed with his acoustic guitar, smooth voice and proceeded to win over the crowd. His sound is an eclectic mix of soul, funk and jazz. The Montreal crowd truly appreciated this artist who obviously sings from the heart. He will be the supporting act throughout Amos Lee's two month North American tour.
Amos Lee, another native of Philadelphia, who at the young age of 27 found himself opening up for the legendary Bob Dylan took the stage to little fanfare and settled into a 100-minute set full of gentle and heartfelt music. A talented 3-piece band consisting of Jaron Olevsky on bass, Nate Skiles on trumpet (a nice touch when he played it), guitar and mandolin, and Fred Berman on drums supported him. Lee is quite intense and serious while he is performing, but on the occasions that he did address the crowd he had a funny, shy and engaging way about him. Although Lee is from the city of "brotherly love" he somehow projects a sort of Southern charm. The music that he performs is a mix of blues and folk with each song telling the audience a story. It seemed like an odd thing when the huge disco ball starting spinning and sparkling during one of the numbers, but then you realized that coupled with Lee's soulful sound the twinkling felt like stars in the sky. His voice is warm (which occasionally sounded like Seal's weirdly enough) and rich and the lyrics are both thoughtful and thought provoking (he was a school teacher). He has a talent for making you believe every word he is singing. Lee's music made many members of the audience sway or full out dance and I was amazed at how many of the members of the audience knew his songs as they were singing them right along with Lee. He played a nice mix of songs from his self-titled debut album and some new ones. Lee joked that he had to play them live in case he never got to record another album. I highly doubt that this will be the case.
This artist is not making groundbreaking music (Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, and even James Taylor all are in the same vein of performers), but he is fairly unique in his use of spare arrangements, his ability to sing about love without making it sound too corny and his refusal to crank up the volume of his voice.
The sound and restorations at La Tulip are both amazing! The audience called Lee back to the stage for two encores, which he joked was pretty incredible considering he only has one album. He also was genuinely appreciative towards the audience for coming out to the show, buying his album and listening to his music. As a sign of appreciation for his fans, Lee stuck around for 30 minutes after the show signing, getting photos taken and chatting with everyone who lined up to meet him. Amos Lee does not seem like he, despite how big eventually gets, will ever become a diva.
1) Give It Up
2) Love in the Lies
4) I Don't Know If I Can Do This Anymore
5) New Song
6) New Song
7) Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight
8) Bottom Of The Barrel
9) Soul Suckers
10) Supply and Demand
11) Seen It All Before
12) Black River
14) New Song
15) New Song
16) Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke cover)
1st Encore: 17) Workin' On The Night Train
18) This Town Ain't Going Nowhere
19) Arms of A Woman
2nd Encore: 20) All My Friends