Concert Reviews

Elbow at the Danforth Music Hall

Photos by Ryan O’Shaughnessey


In a just world British band Elbow would be playing the same size venues as Coldplay and U2. Fortunately for those lucky enough to gather themselves into the Danforth Music Hall, Elbow provided a thrilling and engaging night as they plugged this year’s excellent Little Fictions.

Led by the generous Guy Garvey, Elbow opened their 2 hour set with “Any Day Now” off their debut from 2001. From raising his glass as he hit the stage, Garvey had the crowd in his hand for the entire night.

With virtually no North American airplay over their entire career, which is a travesty, Elbow have relied on word of mouth of their live shows to sustain a very loyal base over here.

The star is Garvey’s voice and his charismatic interactions with the crowd. It felt like 1500 babies being looked after by their doting father – the love in the room was palpable. From obeying every request from Garvey to wave arms to a beautiful sing along for the main set closer “One Day Like This”, we all had a hand in what turned out to be the most beautiful gigging experience I’ve had this year.

Little Fictions got the most attention and the band touched on most of their albums aside from their excellent sophomore album, Cast of Thousands. Highlights were the entire set but “Station Approach”, “The Birds” and “New York Morning” were personal highlights.

Garvey’s voice was in fine farm and I can only describe it as a warm blanket and bowl of hot soup. I really wouldn’t mind if the man sang me my last rites, his voice is that beautiful. And for the first time ever, I witnessed a singer sneeze on stage, but the crowd took over vocal duties as Garvey found his ground again.

It’s a shame that we only get one visit per album cycle, but the circumstances why are easy to understand. We all felt lucky that we got one night like that and if you missed it, you messed up.

About author

Concert reviewer at Live in Limbo.