José González live @ Teatro Colón (Bogotá) [25/01/2008]

I'm going to play a song... called "The Nest"... it's about... human paranoia. It's the kind of thing the guy nobody knows would say at the end of the party before tuning the guitar in some strange way and playing a song that would make everybody look at each other, their faces in some troubled gesture. Then everybody would be silent. Then, the strange guy nobody knows would open a little wound in everybody's heart. Then, if it was not a party but a concert in wonderful Teatro Colón, velvet chairs and golden lamps and the bright giant chandelier hanging over your head, you'd die a little. You'd see José González all by himself against a plain-colored background, no decoration whatsoever, other than the amazing venue you're in, singing his dark-and-moving music. You'd stop breathing for a while.

He played, because this concert actually happened, mostly songs from his second album, In Our Nature, plus other hits as "Heartbeats", thus filling all expectatives. He had a microphone next to his feet to make sure all of the arrangments were complete. In fact, he'd tune down his guitar a lot of different ways, full instrumentation coming out of the simple acoustic guitar, perfect companion to his plain-yet-dreamy voice. During "Cycling Trivialities" (personal fav), an unknown sound would come in, filling in the last part of the song, creating such an atmosphere you'd just forget you don't know where it comes from. Two songs later he introduced his trumpet player, playing backstage. Simply amazing. You could only imagine him, some 10 years ago, telling his friends he wanted to play an acoustic version of Massive Attack's "Teardrop", but then you'd wonder if maybe that song wasn't his all the time.

As unusual as a swedish named José, Gonzalez's playing mixes some classical technique with stripped off rock pieces and processes, making up for a groundbreaking setting of new pop music. You wander through his dark sonorities inside the theather, hanging in to key motifs that resonate deeper in your feelings than you'd expect. No more perfect venue for these mind explorations than the Romantic fashioned Teatro Colón: along with his music, the attendance was so much into González's playing that the place was completely appropiated by them. As if no other music had ever been played in the theather before, it all seemed as if it was made for this concert only, the connections between music and people and decoration made evident by the ever returning pop motifs. He played at the end, as expected, his Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" cover, and once again you'd easily forget that song was ever someone else's.-postbop


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