A few months ahead of the release of his new album A New Testament, Christopher Owens shied away from new material during this rapturous solo acoustic performance, and instead performed an unprecedentedly comprehensive retrospective of his body of work so far.
Not only did Owens revisit his time with Girls tonight (something he really resisted during his first shows as a solo act), but he explored nooks and crannies of the discography he didn’t touch even when he was touring those records. And his performance as a solo musician is in incredible health, flooding even his slightest songs with colour. His dancing fingerpicks have evolved way beyond his origins as a rhythm guitarist, and his airy vocal lines are note-perfect; his nasal Costello-rasp almost completely gone. It’s a dreamy hour.
Owens actually played more completely unreleased songs than he did tracks off the upcoming album (we got two). With the upcoming record’s strong country influences, perhaps he didn’t want to showcase the new material without their full arrangements. But it’s no matter either way. What we got instead was truly special – a reflective overview of a reasonably short body of work, but one which already puts him in the upper reaches of contemporary pop songwriters. And we still have a brand new collection to look forward to hearing on his next tour.
Forgiveness / Summertime / Alex (medley)
Thee Oh So Protective One
Broken Dreams Club
Part Of Me
It Comes Back To You
I Can’t Live Without You