Tom Odell // The Great Hall // 25.09.13
We’ve often heard of a triple threat as someone who can sing, dance, and act, but on September 25, Tom Odell proved that theory wrong. Tom Odell is nothing short of an expert pianist, vocalist, and lyricist, and at the Great Hall in Toronto he brought everything to the table.
As in any excellent live performance, there’s an element that cannot be found on a recording, and Tom brought a level of rawness that he maintains on his album, while making each song a unique experience. As he’s mentioned, his songs are like his children, and he loves no one more than the other. This equal attention was evident at the Great Hall Wednesday night, with Tom putting all of his effort into his performance, from beginning to end, each song receiving his complete, devoted attention.
The night began with an interview, which was followed by a preparatory nap, which carried me directly through the openers Jane’s Party, who I was told were quite excellent. I was afraid I’d missed half the show, but that goodness for shows that start late (at least for the late people who are running their way there). Set times are always subject to change without notice, people.
I had been battling some weird bug all day, so like an old person I ordered water, which I later spit up all over myself. I’m maybe not classy, but at least I am discrete, and thankfully the venue was dark. In fact, interspersing songs with blankets of darkness created the effect of watching multiple acts of a play, which was incredibly beautiful.
Resting on a bench off to the side, I could watch the stage lights stream across the floor, looking like sun through stained glass. Tom launched into a cover of the Beatles’ Get Back, his rendition of which was unique, while still remaining true to the original. There’s a fine line when performing covers; to keep it identical to the original would spark boredom and could bring the concert to a crashing halt, but to make it too unique seems like you’re trying too hard, and could potentially ruin what made the song a hit in the first place. Tom Odell toed the line perfectly, seamlessly blending his individual style with that of the Beatles, and creating a unique song that fit nicely in the midst of his set.
By the end of the night, whether Tom Odell brought the crowd to dancing levels or maintained a subdued atmosphere, it was clear that his incredibly raw talent has immense potential. With the harnessing and direction that he is headed on, it’s only a matter of time until this young man becomes a household name.
Emily Fox |