David Gray in San Diego – Lost and Found 2011

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I was introduced to David Gray’s music while living outside of London in 2003. His song “Babylon” had hit the charts and I was vaguely familiar with it when my English housemate busted out the album “White Ladder”. Let’s just say I was an instant fan and listened to that CD on repeat for a solid year.

Fast forward to January 2011. My life has changed so drastically from my time working in England that I almost don’t recognize my “stay-at-home wife and mom” self. I was driving to an ultra sound appointment to discover the gender of our baby #2 and as I was listening to the radio the DJ announced that caller #25 would win tickets to the David Gray concert. I momentarily forgot about my appointment and called into the radio station. I won! I was caller #25! I then hurried to the doctor’s office and found out I was expecting a boy. What a day!

The concert was Wednesday night, March 9th. My husband and I left our almost 2-year-old daughter with my parents and ventured into San Diego’s downtown. The concert was held at Spreckles Theater on Broadway and as we entered the lobby we were struck with the interesting group gathered to watch the show. The majority was 30-something professionals with expensive cologne and stiletto heels. But the other audience members were young plaid-shirt-wearing guys and some granola-looking women with long skirts and long hair. I wouldn’t call the audience members weird because my husband and I were in the audience along with everyone else but I would say it was definitely “eclectic.”

After the opening act finished (an Irish girl who remains a nameless soloist that I didn’t really enjoy or dislike) David’s band came out.  The staging looked like an acoustical set with four artsy lamps, a piano, organ, guitars, cello, drums and a stand-up base. The band walked onstage together and immediately David Gray started singing. I left my stressed-out day, I forgot about my home renovation that was taking way too long and I peacefully entered David Gray’s folk-rock lullaby world.

I have been to a David Gray concert before so I knew to expect the zany way his head bobbles as he sings and how he alternates between playing piano and guitar. His voice is strong and steady and he actually sounds better live than on his albums. This concert was jammed packed with old and new songs alike intermixed with funny little quips from David.

I was sort of put off by all the women screaming, “I love you, David!” during quiet times in the show yet I realized that this eclectic bunch gathered in the gothic theater of Spreckles were all — in their own rite — David Gray fans.

I can’t define exactly why I love his music so much. Maybe it’s the way he sings, like music is his lifeline. I think if David Gray stopped writing and playing music he would cease to exist. The way he performs is intimate and awe inspiring. He leaves nothing back and feels every word he sings.

For those people that paid for their concert tickets they received a show that was worth every penny. My husband and I had to leave before David was done due to our little one at my parent’s house and I feel honored and thankful I was able to escape last week and visit a “long-lost friend.”

I look forward to my next visit with David Gray. Preferably without the large lady sitting next to us that kept screaming, “I love you!” and offered herself as a back-up singer. But then again that’s what adds to the chaos and wonder of live concerts.

The San Diego Entertainer thanks Jamie Humphrey for contributing this article.

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