Live: Damien Jurado at Södra Teatern, Stockholm 2012.03.03
words by Johan Alm
Damien Jurado has long been one of those artists that I’ve enjoyed but never given proper attention but with his new album Maraqopa (out now via Secretly Canadian) that’s all changed. Maraqopa is my favourite album of 2012 so far and it’s definitely deserving of all the attention it’s been given, plus much more, and from the gig it’s clear that Damien Jurado is pleased with it as well.
Jurado’s concert took place at Södra Teatern, a beautiful, over 100 years old, seated theater and Jurado chose to play Maraqopa front to back during the show and begun by announcing that it was a “rock concert, not a folk concert”. It’s something that most artists only to do celebrate anniversaries for their “classic” albums and it’s refreshing to see an artist with a well-established back catalogue to show such faith in a new album. Plus, it naturally helps when the new album is as strong as Maraqopa.
For most of the show Jurado was supported by an excellent backing band and together they managed to transfer Maraqopa, which relies heavily on Richard Swift’s production, to a live setting without any issues. Highlights were naturally album standouts “Working Titles” and “Museum of Flight”, but the performances were extremely strong throughout. After performing Maraqopa Jurado went on to play choice cuts from his catalogue to the audience’s delight, performing both with the band and solo acoustically. Throughout the set Jurado was in a very good mood, chatting and bantering with the audience, making the gig feel even more intimate than it actually was.
Overall Jurado was very good and the choice to play the whole of Maraqopa made it into more of an event rather than just a regular gig. The band was very good throughout and the concert would have worked great in a standing venue as well since it was by all means “not a folk concert”. Despite that the solo acoustic numbers was a breath of fresh air and kept it from getting “too jammy”, but I’m confident that both a full band concert and a gig of only Jurado with an acoustic guitar would be great as well.