Paul Weller, more affectionately known as The Modfather to his long-time fans and supporters, stopped by The Danforth Music Hall on Monday night in support of his 12th solo studio album Saturns Patterns. The end-to-end stage setup was mesmerizing consisting of racks of guitars, rows of flood lights, not one but two drum kits, and multiple keyboards. It hinted that something grand was planned for the night but still didn’t fully prepare us for how spectacular the performance would really be.
The best word to describe Paul Weller is impeccable. He’s an impeccable guitar player, songwriter and vocalist, impeccable professionally on stage and much like another favourite, Johnny Marr, an impeccable dresser. It’s no coincidence he fronted The Style Council before going solo in 89.
After an enjoyable opening set by the lovely Hannah Cohen, the house lights went dark and the stage filled with Weller’s formidable backup musicians. The jam-packed fans on the floor and balcony seats, many donning Fred Perry attire in some form or other, hollered and clapped, their excitement no longer contained.
Weller and company opened with “White Sky” followed by “Come On/Let’s Go” and “Long Time”. Pitch perfect and fluid on stage, Weller belted out his vocals with ease and swapped seamlessly through guitars as he moved through the set list. Musically, Weller’s style flows through various incarnations of 60’s style Rock, Punk, Soul and what is coined as Mod Revival. As diverse as those genres may be, Weller’s sound is ever cohesive and the band’s execution of each transition airtight.
Choice selections were pulled from Weller’s 40-year (and counting) discography that included “Into Tomorrow”, “Above The Clouds”, an epic “Porcelain Gods” during which unassuming lead guitarist Steve Cradock displayed his outstanding skill, and “Whirlpool’s End” to close the main set.
But like everything Weller does, the encore was done proper. Or rather make that 3 encores. “Out Of The Sinking”, “These City Streets”, “The Changingman” and The Jam classic “Town Called Malice” that fans happily sang aloud to, helped round out the 6 extra tunes fans were treated to.
Originally published by Dave MacIntyre for Examiner.com
All photos by Dave MacIntyre