Friday night brought a rowdy, packed house to the Durham Performing Arts Center for a performance by British songwriter David Gray.
The night got started with a short, but fantastic set from Phosphorescent. The band performed two songs from the acclaimed 2007 album To Willie, an album of Willie Nelson songs. The highlight of the set though was the groovy song "Tell Me Baby (Have You Had Enough)" from the band's new album Here's To Taking It Easy due out on May 11.
Though they only played for 30 minutes, but Phosphorescent won over the crowd, earning a standing ovation as they left the stage.
Next came the main event. David Gray and his band took the stage behind a white curtain and began strumming the opening chords of "Fugitive."
Gray's powerful voice filled the room with quite a few songs from his latest album Draw the Line. It was the classics though that got the crowd rowdy and excited. "Sail Away" and "Babylon" from his 1998 breakthrough album White Ladder were big hits.
"The One I Love" got the mostly seated crowd to leap to their feet and sing along. About halfway through the set, Gray started loosening up and engaged the rowdy crowd, explaining that when someone calls out "Liverpool!," he gets to tell them to "wank off."
Gray closed the night with a three-song encore, starting things off with the ballad "This Year's Love" before ripping through "Be Mine." He topped off the encore with an extra-long version of his classic tune "Please Forgive Me."
David Gray proved his standing as a long term force, taking the stage with fierceness and energy. The songs shined and crowd turned out in full-force. It was a good night.
[all photos by Kevin Norris]
David Gray set list
Now and Always
Life In Slow Motion
Draw the Line
The One I Love
Ain't No Love
Flame Turns Blue
You're the World To Me
Stella the Artist
The Other Side
This Year's Love
Please Forgive Me
Phosphorescent set list
A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise
Tell Me Baby (Have You Had Enough)
It's Not Supposed To Be This Way
Too Sick To Pray