Johann – supporting Patrick Dorgan January 28 – Train
‘Hi Aarhus!’, said a smiling Johann entering the stage. ‘Hi…’ was the hesitating answer from the crowd.
Train was actually quite crowded this evening, considering it was a cold Thursday night. A lot of people were already staring excited towards the stage where Johann was about to start his warm up for Patrick Dorgan.
Johann jumped right into only armed with his acoustic guitar and started with his beautiful ‘Ruffled Feathers’, where he showed a wide-ranged vocal talent and easy-going guitar skills. The light beamed from the spots behind Johann and supported his bright mood-setting tunes. Nice acoustic waves flowed across the room topped with a crystal clear voice shifting from falsetto to deep tones.
If you know Johann, you are already aware that he’s quite an eloquent guy that loves telling stories to his audience. But even that is difficult when they are not really paying any attention. He told the story of Frances Ann who he met on a trip to the US and fell in love with. But when he went back after a long time in Denmark, she never came around to pick him up at the airport or contact him in anyway. And the result was ‘Frances Ann’ his second song on this Thursday night.
In between this song and the following it was obvious that the majority of the crowd was busier with themselves than with paying attention to the musician actually playing for them. And the buzzing sound only got louder during the calm and melodic ‘Anxiety’. In his fourth act, Johann tried to shake things up a bit with a more energetic ‘Sun on a Rainy Day’, maybe to make himself heard above the small-talking audience.
The second he stroked his guitar, it became clear that this song had a more rockin’ feel to it; Johann’s vocals became more rough and hoarse, the rhythm a bit faster and people started clapping along. This seemed to be more in the direction of what the crowd wanted, which was why he got a much bigger applause and more smiling faces for this song.
The mood settled again as ‘The lonely Road’ began with calm tones and a falsetto-like singing Johann, showing off varying vocal skills throughout the entire song! However, the calmness of the tunes did not seem to appeal to the buzzing and talking audience, and it seemed that Johann legitimately didn’t feel appreciated as he said ‘Wow, seems like I really DID get you warmed up with that last song huh’… the audience still buzzing loudly.
Johann finishes his act with a couple of songs, and ‘Believer’ his finely tuned new release from Friday the 22nd was among them. I’ve heard this song live before with the band as back up, and that really boosts the song. But Johann still pulled it off in his acoustic setup, because of ‘Believer’s’ melodic tunes and catchy chorus, and his skills as vocalist and musician. But I still don’t blame him if he was a little bit disappointed walking off that stage – Johann pays a lot of attention to his audience; eye contact and dialog is often his way to connect, but that completely fell through as the audience was geared for something totally different this evening.
Johann gets 3,5 out of 6 stars for shining through as the talented and honest musician he is, despite lacking attention from the moderately preoccupied audience.
Patrick Dorgan January 28 – Train
After twenty minutes’ break or so, the light dimmed again, and Patrick Dorgan’s band entered the stage while a very distinct girl crowd started cheering. Hard drum beats turned up the rhythm and kicked the band into a danceable instrumental intro party with bass and key board strokes.
With a happy and smiling band playing their pants off, Patrick Dorgan entered with open arms and a bright smiling face. The entire stage lit up in moving spot lights and the crowd was ready to let loose to these up beat soul-pop sounds.
Patrick Dorgan received an applause from the happy audience, and the tempo moved into the song ‘Painkillers’ which was quickly recognized by the crowd. The bass and the drums were hard and the girls up front were singing along to nearly all the lyrics as Patrick Dorgan broke a small pause in the song to say that he was very happy to be there with everyone.
The band’s energy was great and Patrick Dorgan acted out as the jaunty boy in class with teasing comments and a ‘Cheers dammit!’ once in a while. And it only boosted the party mood when he addressed the audience saying that he hoped they would sing along on the next track. But this came naturally, as the crowd started clapping as soon as they heard the keyboard strokes to ‘On The Way Down’.
Even the more quiet people in the back let their voices be heard in the chorus ‘La la la la la la laaaa’. There’s no doubt that he had the crowd where he wanted them. The band moved on to ‘Hollywood’ while Patrick Dorgan sent a greeting to his friends in Hollywood trying to make it big, and with a vibrating clear vocal, he moved on to high pitched tunes that got the crowd waving their arms from side to side.
Then along came another calm song, ‘Bitter’ that emphasized the singer’s voice really nicely as it echoed in the falsettos and filled the room to its corners. With ‘Amazing’ Patrick Dorgan let the crowd sing for him, and they loved it as much as he did. The band kept smiling moving into the next swinging songs ‘Blessed’, ‘Risky Business’ and ‘All there is to know’ that all underlined the happy and danceable crooner style in Patrick Dorgan’s music.
During his performance, he also took the time to acknowledge and present the band, who each got their own solo after being pointed out on stage – Solos that were also loved by the crowd.
Before moving on to the ballad-sounding ‘Amy’, the singer had a small message for everyone: ‘I just need to say this to you guys: Stay away from drugs, be nice to each other and don’t be afraid of the unknown’, and then his arms opened again, ending in his characteristic to-the-beat-trembling fingers. I noticed the keyboard was especially dominant in this song and it made it very soul-like. A couple in the crowd hugged each other and sang along while smiling towards the stage. That was basically the mood all over the place during this song.
After going off stage and being cheered back on, Patrick Dorgan finished his jaunty concert with ‘Lullaby’ that was a shout out to parents with small children, and of course, his popular radio hit ‘Marilyn’ that made the audience really hit it off on the dance floor. That night, it was obvious that Patrick Dorgan is a little brisk guy, with a big voice and hell of a charisma that will probably haunt the radio’s hit lists for a long time. He turned Thursday night into a dance-party.
Patrick Dorgan is a little brisk guy, with a big voice and hell of a charisma that will probably haunt the radio’s hit lists for a long time. He turned Thursday night into a dance party. The support from Johann gets 3,5 out of 6 stars for shining through as the talented and honest musician he is, despite lacking attention from the moderately preoccupied audience. (5/6)