Josh Ritter is no stranger to Seattle--and certainly not to the Northwest--so the sold-out tour-ending stop at the Showbox last night almost felt like a homecoming. The singer/songwriter was uncontrollably happy to the point of hopping, and his constant grins made the good vibes helplessly contagious (yes, even despite you, drunken "Lake Tahoe" screaming idiot and crew).
Photo by Nick Feldman
Accompanied by his Royal City Band, which included at various times another guitar, bass, keys, drums, synth and various percussion, Ritter drew from recent release So Runs The World Away as well as much of his catalogue throughout the two-hour set. Serious tracks like "Girl in the War" (which he dedicated to all people in Afghanistan) and "The Curse"--not to mention a haunting rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "The River"--transitioned easily into more upbeat favorites like "Kathleen" and "Lantern." And though some favorites were missing, namely "The Temptation of Adam" and his famous cover of Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2," Ritter's joyous energy brought his already vivid characters to life in a way that made the night one I'm glad I didn't miss.