On November 18th, singer songwriter Joshua Radin performed his second sold out show at Nell’s Jazz Club and Blues.
Having had a long career of over 13 years, Radin forgo the traditional set list, choosing to take requests from the audience and spontaneously picking from his vast catalogue, ranging from his first album We Were Here to his latest self-release The Fall.
Attending any singer songwriter’s show, you pretty much know what you are signing up for. An intimate setting that allows close access to the performer, stripped back version of songs that feature acoustic instruments and more often than not, a casual outfit that states, “tonight is all about the music.” Radin delivered all that and more.
Starting the show just a little after 9pm, the crowd was warmed up by the solo act Carey Brothers who gave an electrifying performance with songs like California Bound and Ride. Radin then took the stage and brought the audience on a journey from pain to healing throughout his 18-song set. More often than not, his loyal fan base sang just a little too passionately with him that you can hear shushing from other audience who were there to listen to Radin sing. At the end though, when songs like Winter, Beautiful Day and I’d Rather Be With You came along, everyone was singing and swaying.
Never one to shy away from honesty and vulnerability, Radin dived into personal stories of how his songs came into existence. There is one he wrote about a girlfriend that loves to cry just a little too much and another one about another girl’s broken heart he hoped to fix. If you were attending his show for the first time, you might mistakenly think that this is a guy who takes himself just a little too seriously. But Radin’s sense of humor and awareness shone through when he talked about his “silliest song”; a fantasy of making a move on a girl that drives by his house everyday in Vegetable Car. Although many of his songs are more confessional and moves at a slower tempo, Radin picked things up with songs like Underwater, where he conducted fans on a clap-stomp along.
Watching Radin perform the whole night with a gleeful smile; the one thing that is clear is he embraces his self-proclaimed corniness. His songs like Belong and Brand New Day can be interpreted as positive mantras with lyrics “Just hold on, you’ll see that you belong” and “for the first time in such a long time, I know I’ll be ok.” But walking out of his show, you do feel the sense of hope he imbues in his audience and for a brief moment you remember that everything will be ok.
Check out his latest tour dates on his website