Lamontagne opened the show with his band Pariah Dogs. Opening with two songs from the new album, God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise: “Repo Man” and “New York City is Killin’ Me” answered any doubts about whether he would play new material. His set mixed of old and new material and fans were gracious and appreciative of Lamontagne’s gigantic, salty, folk-vocals and the bands preciously-arranged folk instrumentals. He closed his set with a crowd request, and my personal favorite, “Jolene.” For a moment you could see Ray peer up from behind his brimmed hat at the sky behind the crowd; the sun was going down behind us in the horizon, and for if only a slight hour this hot sea of strangers turns into lovers. This is the closest we get to God, I thought.
David Gray came on in his well-tailored suit, backed by his delightful band. We can almost compare Gray with a fine wine- he and his music only get better with time, proven this past Sunday night as he played with compassion and charisma. Opening with his most recent radio favorite, “Fugitive,” they didn’t leave out any of the favorites or singles. Gray played all the crowd pleasers with fervor, including “Sail Away,” “This Year’s Love,” “Be Mine,” “Please Forgive Me,” “The Other Side” and of course “Babylon”. There was even a marriage proposal in the front row during the middle of his set, and she said “Yes!”
It seemed there was no clear ‘winner’ in this co-headlining dance, Gray & Ray were just that- together. And everyone was satisfied; the buzzing after the concert couldn’t have been more pleased with their late Sunday evening choice to come out to Harrah’s Stir Cove to witness two of our era’s most adored artists.