Josh Ritter | 04.20.13

joshritter 75Ritter’s “put the Dalai Lama to shame” smile is ever present.

 

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All photos: Cencio Boc

Every single one of the two dozen people who told me I was going to love seeing Josh Ritter perform live was right as rain. They didn’t need to convince me, as I’ve been a fan for a long time, but their white hot enthusiasm was even more understandable after the experience. First of all, Ritter’s “put the Dalai Lama to shame” smile is ever present. You cannot help but be happy while watching him. He smiles with every fiber of his being, provoking you to do the same.

Plush was a fantastic venue for Ritter. It felt intimate but not oppressively crowded for the generous amount of people there. Bonus points to the venue for the height of its stage, which made it possible to see the action no matter where you were in the room. I had a forest of several six-foot-plus guys standing right in front of me, and still, I could see just fine. The sound was gorgeous and my drink was strong. Well done, Plush!

Ritter and his band played a great range of songs from his back catalog, like “Kathleen,” “Idaho,” and “Wolves,” and plenty from the new release, The Beast in His Tracks, such as “Joy to You Baby” and “Hopeful.” When he launched into the strummy, intense opening of “New Lover,” I thought I might burst into happy balloon bits on the floor. Ritter seems to genuinely love and appreciate St. Louis and makes frequent stops here. The next time, you should really be in the crowd, too. Just be prepared for your cheeks to hurt. | Janet Rhoads

Photos by Inocencio Boc

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