This past Wednesday night Alex Clare played to a packed, sold out Music Hall Of Williamsburg. Most famous for the Microsoft commercial-featured “Too Close”, the UK singer played an hour-long set packed with his unique brand of blue-eyed soul, fused with some slight post-dubstep production. The newly-bearded singer released his debut record, The Lateness Of The Hour, which has been picking up praise ever since and has been appealing to both indie rock and electronic music enthusiasts alike.
While on record, Alex Clare acts something like a more extreme James Blake (who I saw the previous night in the same venue) between his more aggressive production and more nostalgic soul music. But as far as live shows go, his production was reduced to a bare minimal, as the blue-eyed soul aspect of his music was most emphasized, à la Mayer Hawthorne.
Although the production is one of my favorite parts of his record (think Disclosure), his live show was both exciting and impressive. While the electronic aspect of Clare was obviously not as evident, it was great to see the singer/songwriter facet of the artist, along with his brief solo acoustic set, adding yet another niche to the multi-talented artist.
Playing the majority of his debut album, Alex Clare gave his Williamsburg attendees one hell of show. He had the audience clapping along to the rhythmic “Hummingbird”, he showcased his incredible tone and vocal power in “When Doves Cry”, showcased a softer side with the slow jam of “I Love You”, and added a bit of his post-dubstep tendencies to the wub-filled “Treading Water”.
The entirety of the performance featured a three-piece backing band (keys, bass, drums) except right before the encore when Alex Clare gave his own mini intimate three-song acoustic set that featured an all-time favorite song of mine: a cover of Leadbelly‘s “Goodnight Irene”, which morphed from a blues classic into a soulful, singer/songwriter tune.
But obviously, the best part of the night was during “Too Close”, which had the entire audience singing along and going bonkers as the bass kicked in. Throughout the duration of the set I realized that the Brit has a such a tight-knit fan base (all of whom knew the words to every single song of his), so I’m pretty certain that he’ll be seeing even more success after his next record.