By Matthew Jay Belyea
February 26, 2015
VANCOUVER — James Vincent McMorrow was late to his last Vancouver outing because his van broke down in Seattle. This time he walked over from his hotel room on Granville.
Music junkies filled the Vogue Theatre Saturday night to watch the artist, who, wearing a porkpie fedora that made him look like a young Irish Walter White, stood centre stage, commanding a classroom of ready Vancouverites with tracks from his debut album Early in the Morning, as well as from his 2014 release Post Tropical.
“It’s more relaxed this time,” he said, comparing it to his last visit.
McMorrow does not sell crank, but his songs do leave you stimulated, euphoric and tweaking for more. The kingpin stared at the ceiling and sang “Hear the Noise That Moves So Soft and Low,” and, like an angel on MDMA, left us feeling like he somewhere else, somewhere better — the land of 72 virgins, Nirvana, a beach in San Jose del Cabo, Sweden. Away from the bullshit of co-workers and the boss’ bad breath. And for the duration of his set he was able to bring us there — into a peaceful bliss, into us complimenting him to the person sitting on our left and right. A man beside me whispered to his lover, “His voice is very special. VERY SPECIAL.”
McMorrow sings with a falsetto that can climb to paradise and lick the balls of an aroused Allah.
Impressed by divine fellatio, a bustling crowd showed their excitement, yelling things from their red velvet seats like, “YOU’RE TALENTED” and, “WE LOVE YOU.” McMorrow nodded his head in agreement. “I know. I know,” he said, then played, “We Don’t Eat,” and followed that with “Sparrow and the Wolf,” which he hasn’t played in years.
McMorrow sat at the keyboard and enthralled the audience with, “Red Dust,” then jokingly said goodbye because, “Shit’s not going to get any better than that.”
He was wrong; demonstrating the full range of his voice with an eclectic mix of R&B influenced arrangements before heading back to key board for “Glacier.”
McMorrow was soft spoken, personable and down to earth. Long-winded soliloquies meant to invoke laughter separated his tracks. His fans laughed, slapped their knees, acted as if their love of his music had brainwashed them into making him funny. Acted like a girl does when she tells her boyfriend his three-inch cock is huge — SO BIG IT HURTS.
It’s nice paying for a music show and getting a comedy show to go with it. It’s like ordering a gourmet meal and getting that shitty little bowl of salad as a side. You don’t really like the salad but you tip with the server anyway because the burger is that good. His jokes included making fun of an amputee with a “robot arm.”
“It’s painfully obvious that I’m just up here to tell jokes,” said McMorrow, and painful it was, until he picked back up the guitar for “Breaking Hearts” — something he’s likely good at, judging from the lustrous eyes of onlookers.
McMorrow was melting them with a rendition of “Cavalier,” and striking the vein of an already emotional crowd. He continued to inject us with shab-melodies, creating a crankenstien that not even the Heisenberg himself could tame. McMorrow finished the night with “If I Had a Boat,” before returning for an encore, and covering Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”
At that point he stepped away from the mic, so that we could experience him at his source, and sang finale “And If My Heart Should Somehow Stop,” leaving the crowd scared, breathing heavy, looking for their next interminable fix.BC, British Columbia, James Vincent McMorrow, Vogue Theatre