Mike Love is his own entity. Figuratively and literally. Not only that – how many musicians visit Montreal from their native Hawaii?
Mike Love did last night at Metropolis as the opening act for Britain’s Joss Stone.
According to Mike ( and there is no reason to doubt him), his performance last evening – his 20th straight day singing on this current tour which ended in Montreal. Twenty days. That’s a lot of travelling for a musician and (again, according to Love) it caught up with him last night.
His voice was shot ( although he sounded fine) and he was very tired and fighting a cold. His almost hour long setdisplayed no weakness for the uninhibited.Perhaps real fans and his Mom may notice the difference yet for the normal folk checking Love out for the very first time – a show filled with reggae beats, creativity and natural melodies.
Mike has released one full album and another one is on the way on the first of September. At Metropolis, Love portrayed a caricature of a seasoned veteran. Love acted a caricature of himself.
Raised on Reggae among many diverse genres, last evening’s set was predominantly filled with his roots. A Hawaiian in Montreal conjures images contrasted in weather. Mike Love in Montreal in January would evoke memories of the Jamaican Bobsled team from the film ‘Cool Runnings.’ In Love’s song – ‘I Love You’, slight indications of the Bunny Wailer song ‘Cool Runnings’ floated in the air – figuratively and literally.
Layering acoustic and electric guitars over prerecorded vocals and instruments, enables Love uniqueness. It allows a full sound to be absorbed by an audience. His opening song ‘Leaders’ led the charge minus the overdubs as Love introduced himself to the ‘home’ crowd.
Mike ‘ gave’ and the audience ‘received’ in the night’s second track ‘Give n Receive. Suddenly, the punters took notice and realized that within Love’s ‘wall of Reggae’ – this was not a opening act to ignore.
Reggae is Reggae yet Love’s songs are much more than that. Part folk and part poetry, Mike scribes messages of hope fresh with words of the human condition.
‘Jah Will Never’, ‘Human Race’, ‘Permanent Holiday’ and ‘Dark Days, a set-list complete with searing vocals and some old fashioned scat tossed into the mix. Love, the type of performer willing to take risks and utilize his God given ability in many ways. Shamelessly he conducts his very own orchestra. Catchy choruses combined with global caring. |Important stuff from a soon-to-be-important fixture in the music world.
The Beach Boys had nothing to do with it (except for maybe the melodies), we will give them that much …
Listen to some of Mike’s songs below from his album‘The Change I’m Seeking’.
Stay tuned for my Joss Stone Review and a re-cap of the 2015 Montreal International Jazz Festival.