ACL Review, Photos: Ray LaMontagne, Friday, AMD
Back in 2003, when the ACL Festival was much less crowded but no less exciting, I was handed a CD while taking a much needed break under a shade tree. It was a single called ‘Trouble’ by some guy named Ray Lamontagne. Now, eight years later, I’m watching Lamontagne play on one of the main stages at this festival that has grown beyond belief.
Stepping out onto the stage in a dark vest and a vintage hat, he looked quite the part to play his warm blues/folk tunes that seem to take you back in time. Although his songs are well known and his crowd was there, the mellow crooning didn’t seem to work very well in this festival setting. At 4:10pm it was the heat of the day and the show just wasn’t very exciting. Besides a few “thank you”s he didn’t make an effort to connect with the crowd.
Hits like “Trouble” and “Beg, Steal or Borrow” got the crowd to sing along and his last song “Henry Nearly Killed Me (It’s A Shame)” actually sent a jolt of energy out into the midday audience. The talent is there for sure, it’s just not enough to rock the audience’s faces of right when they really needed it.