All photos and review by Alan Lawrence (view set)
Earlier this month, Elbow brought their wide range of emotional music to The Showbox, performing to a sold out, adoring crowd. In fact, the show sold out in one day making tickets some of the most highly sought after of the year.
With a big, orchestral sound, Elbow has sometimes been described as “prog without the solos.” Established in the mid-90s, they’ve really come into their own since their 2014 release The Take Off and Landing of Everything
which won them a number one spot in their home country of England. Led by frontman Guy Garvey, the band took complete command of the venue showing their chops tuned from playing arena-sized venues overseas. Garvey had that amazing connection with the audience rarely seen outside of giants such as Bono and The Boss.
Kicking off their almost two-and-a-half hour set with an earlier tune “Any Day Now”, the band soared through 16 songs spanning six of their seven albums. "The Bones of You" followed by vocal-altered "Fly Boy Blue" just killed it! The 8-minute opus “Magnificent (She Says),” which was backed by the band's live string section, was as stirring a performance as I’ve heard in a long time. Throughout the show, it was evident that the audience had an intimate relationship with the band’s music as they joined Garvey as he encouraged arm swaying and sing-along participation. Elbow moved through their stellar back catalog with standouts including “Mirrorball”, “My Sad Captains,” and the always stirring “The Birds”. The show ended with the band’s biggest show-stopper “One Day Like This” before coming back for two encores. I could have listened to these guys all night! Christopher Duncan, a Scottish multi-instrumentalist, opened the show in fine fashion with his solo set of fine, wistful pop songs.