I haven't seen Spencer Krug perform live (in any of his 18 bands) in so long, that Richard's on Richards was still a thing. Sunset Rubdown at Richard's in '09 was the last time I saw him, and I have been dying to fix that. So when he announced a Moonface solo piano show -- at an intimate bar just down the street from me, The Lido -- I knew I had to be there. Especially since Julia With Blue Jeans On was one of my favourite albums of the last few years.
The intimate night was just Spencer, on stage alone with an upright piano, in front of his own psychedelic reflection on the projection screen of The Lido. After the album came out, I was amazed how impactful something as simple as a man with a piano could be, and a lot of that had to do with the passion and emotion that he pours into the lyrics and channels through the piano, and that absolutely translated live as his fingers went from softly dancing over the keys, to hammering home each note, his distinct voice matching with a soft tremble or a wild howl.
As expected, he played mostly from Julia With Blue Jeans On, starting off with "Love The House You're In" and I immediately knew it was going to be a special night. The pairing of "Barbarian" and "Barbarian II" soared and momentarily managed to silence the noisy half of the bar (it was still a Friday night, after all), and he fielded a request for "Your Chariot Awaits".
Krug also dipped a little into his back catalogue, pulling out a stripped down rendition of "Heartbreaking Bravery" the title track from the first Moonface album with Siinai, and even going back to Swan Lake -- the collaborative band with Dan Bejar & Carey Mercer -- for "All Fires".
Along with that, he tossed a couple brand new songs into the mix, which sounded amazing. He didn't say if they were off the upcoming Moonface & Siinai album, but I can't wait to hear them again, the latter of which packing a strong lyrical punch.
After about an hour, Spencer somewhat sheepishly said he should probably wrap things up, but had nowhere to go offstage, and after the relentless applause he asked if it was okay to just pretend he left and came back to do a couple more. First the older "City Wrecker" which he promised to play for a friend, and then the titular "Julia With Blue Jeans On", a gorgeous song which just gave me chills, and was a perfect ending for the night.
The show has to be, hands down, one of my favourites of the year, and I can't wait to see Moonface again; be it solo, with a full band or Siinai, or as something altogether different. I just hope it won't take another seven years.
Love The House You're In,
Your Chariot Awaits,
Julia With Blue Jeans On.