On Wednesday, November 24th, one of the biggest nights to be stuck in traffic or airports, Swedish songwriter Jose González and Junip put on a delightfully laid-back performance at Irving Plaza.
[ALL PHOTOS BY CHRISTINE THELEN]
The night, itself, had a warm ambiance to it with many friends reuniting the night before Thanksgiving get-togethers. Opening act Lost in Trees, who hail from North Carolina, warmed the audience up with rich, textured music involving numerous instruments, namely the violin, cello, accordion, drums, guitar, tuba, xylophone, and bass guitar. Regrettably, their glockenspiel was in the shop that evening; it was replaced by a tuba, which created a notably tubular experience for all those attending that evening. The set slowly built up in both rhythm and energy.
When Junip came onstage, they immediately created a quiet but captivating atmosphere. González’s voice was a richer and more melodic version of the one found on the LP Fields. The set was such a smooth collection of songs that literally rolled from one to the next. Individual band members spoke very little and occasionally gave tiny smiles to the audience. Drummer Elias Araya experimented with sounds by using insulation material and a glass of water. Organist/synthesizerist Tobias Winterkorn remained quite serious and focused the whole time, but then ultimately belted out a few songs. Lighting worked very well with songs like “Without You,” as can be seen in the video below.
In the end, a very content audience applauded and shouted, some in Spanish, others in English, and still others in Swedish. Junip gave all those there that night the perfect peaceful feelings and imagery to approach the very busy weekend ahead.