What a difference five years makes…
Back in 2006, Guster was a star attraction at SPAC, and they brought along Ray LaMontagne as their opening act.
But when Guster returned to town just last month, they weren’t playing the amphitheater, or even a mid-sized theater, but rather a club show at Northern Lights. On the other hand, LaMontagne’s star has continued to rise, propelling him to headlining status at SPAC, where he kicked off the Spa City’s summer concert season earlier this month.
The bearded backwoods Bohemian opened and closed his show with solo numbers – “Rock & Roll and Radio” at the start; “All the Wild Horses” as the final encore – but for the remainder of his 100-minute performance, LaMontagne’s sublimely soulful, sandpapered voice – equal parts honey and moonshine – was matched by the magnificently tasteful musicianship of his band the Pariah Dogs, featuring guitar greats Greg Leisz and Eric Heywood, bassist Jennifer Condos and eccentric but in-the-pocket drummer Jay Bellerose.