Jeremy Fisher @ Electric Owl -- 02/16/13

It was a busy night in Vancouver last night, concert-wise, but there was only one I had my eye on: Jeremy Fisher at the Electric Owl. It's been a while since Fisher was last in town, and the was the last stop on a short West Coast tour in support of his latest album, Mint Julep.

Vancouver's own Hilary Grist opened the show, but unfortunately I arrived too late, getting to the packed venue moments before Jeremy Fisher took the stage. Armed with just an acoustic guitar, and occasionally a harmonica, Fisher mentioned early on that the setlist was curated from requests taken earlier that day on his Facebook page -- and even a couple songs yelled at him mid-set -- so it consisted of songs new and old, and a few he had rarely played live.

He started with "On My Mind", his most recent single, and went for a little over an hour, playing old hits like "Cigarette" and "Shine A Light", which had the captivated crowd singing and clapping along, and more new songs, like "Tetris Song", a love song that borders between sweet and corny (in a good way).

Other highlights of the set were the ridiculously catchy "Scar That Never Heals" and a "dead bride wedding song", as Jeremy introduced it, called "The Bride is Dead", which is exactly what the title implies. It is a sad & darkly hilarious song, and while it's not yet recorded, I've seen him play it live a few times, and it may be one of my favourite songs of his.

He wrapped up the main set with "High School", eliciting a huge ovation, and came back with time for one more before the curfew; a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer" with Hilary Grist helping out on vocals, and the crowd singing along to the "lie la lie" chorus.

Fisher is a fantastic live performer; he talks and jokes with the crowd (sometimes individually) and effortlessly weaves stories into the songs themselves, whether they're directly related to the song or random non-sequiturs. Few artists have that ability to totally engage the crowd like he does -- especially if it's just a guy with a guitar on stage -- and even if it's venue brimming with people, he makes it seem like an intimate show in someone's living room.

On My Mind, Shine A Little Light, Laissez Faire, Scar That Never Heals, Left Behind, The Bride Is Dead, Remind Me, Cigarette, Ain't Got Nothin' But Plenty Of Time, Built To Last, Tetris Song, Canned Goods, Sula, Lay Down (Ballad Of Rigoberto Alpizar), Lemon Meringue Pie, High School.
(encore) The Boxer [Simon & Garfunkel cover].