Saturday, December 6, 2014
Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine
I’d somehow never seen Ryan Montbleau live. I’d come close a few times, too—just missing his set at music festivals more than once. I signed up to win tickets from 98.9 WCLZ for this show and won, and so I emailed Ryan and asked if I could photograh the show, which he and his team kindly allowed. I ran into my friends Jason and Sarah when I got to Port City Music Hall, and my new Gardiner neighbor Ari and her friend Jess joined me up front for a bit of the show, too.
I liked Boston’s Jesse Dee. He didn’t say much to us during his set, but he and his electric guitar were a lovely pair onstage. I kept hearing Rickie Lee Jones’ “Chuck E.’s In Love” in his songs. Jess said he reminded her a bit of Martin Sexton. Check out “Boundary Line” and “Slow Down” to get a taste of his soulful sound.
I ended up in a nice pocket of concert goers for this show, which is always a real plus. I snuck over to the middle of the crowd to take some photos, and people gladly moved aside to let me in. A woman standing next to me asked if I’d seen Ryan before and excitedly checked back in with me later to see if I liked him. Such nice folks at this show! I think I’d expected Ryan to be an acoustic singer-songwriter, but he arrived as a nine-piece band (including two female singers and guys on keys, drums, percussion, trombone, saxophone, and bass) with a far funkier sound than I’d expected. Sometimes it’s nice to see a band whose music I don’t know so I can put my notebook down and just dance. Thanks for a fun night! Oh! And Ryan’s team recorded the show and you can see the whole thing here! Check out my photos of Ryan and the band below.