Howie Day | 11.17.11

howie-dayA fully satisfying performance from a somewhat reticent but nonetheless extremely talented young songwriter.

Blueberry Hill Duck Room, St. Louis

You always know what you’re in for at a solo acoustic Howie Day performance. The man is a master of the loop. There under lights by himself, he blends and combines sounds and textures, harmonies and backgrounds, to grow his songs from 3-and-a-half-minute pop/rock gems to 10-plus-minute tapestries.

Tonight’s show was a last-minute one (the date was announced a mere two weeks ago); that, combined with the fact that Day took more than a handful of years off between albums two and three, has since been dropped by Sony, and isn’t set to release the new EP Ceasefire until January, kept the size of the crowd down. (The last time I saw him perform solo in the same venue, the room was packed shoulder to shoulder.)

Still, there was plenty to love with Day’s performance, as every member of the audience proved. We were a smaller but still mighty group, eagerly obliging the singer’s every request to fill in lyric lines. The set list hit on all the favorites—”Collide,” “She Says,” “Ghost,” “Be There”—and included previews of the new material. Day also threw in a Coldplay cover, from their first album, when they were “still good.” “Has anybody heard their new album?” he asked, his humorously soured face betraying his true feelings of the record.

Though we got only a one-song encore, it was a long performance, factoring in the loops. A fully satisfying performance from a somewhat reticent but nonetheless extremely talented young songwriter. | Laura Hamlett

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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