Photos and Published by Joe Stadele on May 28, 2014
“Congratulations on the end of your horrible winter, I’m John Grant….we’re going to play a few songs and then get the fuck out of your hair.” With a wink and a smile John Grant was quick with introductions and to the point during his May 20th opening set for Elbow.
Grant’s First Ave set was comparatively stripped down from his 2013 show at a nearly sold out Dakota Jazz Club; which featured life stories, song inspiration anecdotes, off-kilter humor and a full backing band. Grant used the opening set as a near cliff’s notes introduction to his colorful, yet poignant dark wit filled brand of music, culling key selections from 2013’s critically acclaimed Pale Green Ghost, 2010’s Queen of Denmark, and The Czars.
While Grant now lives in Iceland, he connected early on with the Minneapolis audience, discussing his Midwest roots leading into the Twilight Zone-inspired “Paint the Moon” and mining smiles and laughs from unsuspecting audience members with his birtterly honest, yet humorous lyrics during songs like the look-back narrative “You Don’t Have To,” “Where Dreams Go To Die” and “Sigourney Weaver.” As with all of his songs, there is an underlying message that comes from the heart.
“If you are one of those people who has been told you need to have a thicker skin and your
self-esteem isn’t where it should be, and that you need to improve in all of these different ways…you might enjoy this next song, which I wrote for those very reasons. And it’s usually told to me by people who I feel should love themselves quite a bit less! This one is called “Greatest Mother Fucker.” It was “GMF” and an emotional “Glacier” which were personal highlights of the set and left the crowd noticeably intrigued.
You Don’t Have To
Paint The Moon (The Czars)
Where Dreams Go To Die
GMF (Greatest Living Creature)