Bobby McFerrin gave a phenomenal performance during the 39th annual Montréal Jazz Festival at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on July 7, 2018. Along with David Worm, Joey Blake and the Jireh Gospel Choir, McFerrin lead the group using only their symphony of voices.
McFerrin, known for his unique vocal techniques such as scat singing and alternating harmonies, was a veteran to the stage. The Jireh Gospel Choir was made up of twelve beautiful singers, but even more impressive was that their talents were put to the test with each song being completely improvised. He led the improvised songs with such aptitude, making it look easy to the crowd as he came up with melodies and rhythms to create a complex composition that came together seamlessly.
Additionally, the audience was involved throughout the performance as they were asked to sing as cued. Everyone was very willing to lend their voices to create the songs. It was a special moment to see the synergy that is usually just seen on stage shared with the audience as well. As expected, McFerrin concluded the show with his last song to a standing ovation.
Closing out the festival were The War on Drugs. They played a free show at Place des Festivals, their main stage outdoors. Fans and tourist gathered in the large space, with some die hard fans waiting at the front for hours for the concert to begin. The excellent, most recent album, A Deeper Understanding, won best rock album at the Grammy’s the past year which sounds like floating in an American dream, losing oneself, being swept by sublime arrangements and lyricism. The War on Drugs carry themselves well as a live band and the audience were complacently compliant in drowning in their sound.