June 25, 2016
Pavilion, Boston, MA
New England native Ray LaMontagne swung by the Pavilion for a two-night stop supporting his new album Ouroboros, released just this past March. He brought all the soul and ambiance he always does.
For this particular set Ray became his own opening act. He started out the show slower with an acoustic set that lost a bit of its power in such a large-scale open-air venue. The crowd noise at the Pavilion tends to be too much if the amps aren’t pumping sound out at top speed. Even up front, it was hard to focus on the show over the shuffling and chatter. Which is a shame as Ray’s voice has remained on-point all of these years and deserved a more intimate atmosphere to appreciate.
At intermission the vibe was down to say the least. There was an exodus which was presumably for beer but most never came back. On a perfect Saturday night on the waterfront, keeping folks in their seats was a stretch. Even with the mass appeal and nearly sold-out show that Ray was able to bring, the venue simply did not provide for him.
Then the second half brought the electric, My Morning Jacket, version of the show: a slightly less melancholy performance. For a large audience on a weekend in the summer, the energy level never got there. Sure, it did for a few drunken couples in the back but ultimately, there was a lack of punch to the experience. Ray’s music is perfect for the beach, windows down cruising or a first dance at a wedding (as my cousin just realized this weekend). His voice is iconic and the music will live in infamy but for this show, it didn’t match the setting or its audience.
Article By: Teresa Reilly