Patrick Watson Up Here, Sudbury ON, August 18

Patrick Watson Up Here, Sudbury ON, August 18
Photo: Lindsay Duncan
An event four years in the making, according to an opening preamble, there was a chance this night might never have happened. With his wife due to give birth any day now, Watson joked between nervous sips of whiskey that he might be in some trouble, confirming with a crew member that he hadn't received any calls.
Nevertheless, Up Here got the full Patrick Watson experience, delivering a number of new songs ("Melody Noir" and "Broken," amongst others) alongside old favourites like "The Great Escape," "Hearts" and "Grace," full band in tow, as well as a line of smoky light globes for ambiance.
This would have perfectly sufficed, but Watson pulled out all the stops, and when the audience called him back for an encore, he returned only to grab a megaphone and abandon the stage entirely, the crowd following him and the rest of the band to a collection of go-go cages at the side of the club, where they proceeded to lead a classic a cappella rendition of Adventures In Your Own Backyard's "Into Giants." Watson instructed the crowd to provide the song's wordless chorus — eventually "like drunk sailors" — while band members tended acoustic instruments, clapping and stomping on the hollow boxes below them, including someone tending a singing saw.
After that, a practically obligatory version of "Big Bird in a Small Cage," and for one last finale, Watson returned to the stage alone to play "Lighthouse" at his upright, lighting the way out into the night.

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