Saturday, 11 May 2013

Jenn Grant at Upstairs

Jenn Grant  |  Upstairs Jazz

  Dreamer  |  Jessica Dahn
   Photos  |  Mira Dahn

I sat at a tiny table at the front of the stage directly in front of the microphone. There were no distractions to take my focus away from what I knew was going to be a fantastic show. East Coast’s Jenn Grant was playing two shows at the chic Upstairs Jazz Bar, I arrived in time to watch the tables quickly fill up for the first show.

Due to some unforeseen issues the opening act, Erin McKeown, was unable to make it to Montreal. Instead Daniel Ledwell stepped up to perform in her place. Ledwell, Grants husband, played several songs while joking and chatting with members of the audience. Using his delicate but confidant voice and a single guitar, Ledwell sang us folk songs that made the dim room feel like a warm home. 

After a short wait, the beautiful Grant stepped onto the stage and her infectious smile spread quickly through the quiet audience. Her melodic folk rock songs express emotions and hypnotize anyone listening. Many of the songs she performed were from her latest release, ‘The Beautiful Wild”, her fourth record. Listening to these stories I noticed a more serious tone than her previous albums. Yet, she kept things very lighthearted with her amusing banter between songs. 

She performs with an intimate spark that creates a deep connection with the crowd, which is only strengthened by her genuine friendliness.  Each song seemed to overcome me, as if I was under a spell. I sat with only a few feet between us completely captivated by her silky smooth voice. She has a striking and unique ability to switch from cracking jokes with her band mates to singing somberly passionate songs.  She performed a few oldies, including the popular “Dreamer”, where she stepped off the stage and had the audience humming along. 

While looking around the filled room of spectators, sitting at their tables enjoying a drink, she smiled and said, “It’s like we’re tucked into bed.”  Thank you to Jenn Grant, the band, and Upstairs for putting on such a lovely show.

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