A gig worthy of being a secret – Damien Rice live at Sofar Delhi

Sofar Sounds Delhi
Picture: Dhruv Kalra

Rarely does it happen that you get to hear and see one of the most celebrated artists of our generation in all their glory, in your city. But the 19th of February had a different story to tell, when Sofar Sounds Delhi NCR decided to surprise and overwhelm music lovers with a pop-up gig featuring Damien Rice. It’s justified to describe this as a rare event because only a lucky few out of the 3500 entries, had the privilege of witnessing the Irish Singer-Songwriter serenade well into the full-moon night.

The night began with a vivid performance by Marta Del Grandi, an Italian Singer-Songwriter based out Kathmandu. Her beautifully arranged minimalistic vocals against the subtle tunes set the mood just right for the main act of the evening.

A few moments later, a scruffy yet polite looking man, familiarly dressed in a shabby tan coat, and a rugged pair of jeans walks up to the microphone. Ideas of love, heartbreak and everything that the audiences expect when they see Damien Rice, were all played in the course of 40 minutes of music, stories and a special moment that resonated among every wide-eyed member of the crowd.

For a man whose music can be easily described to be overly sentimental, Rice’s stage presence and wit kept the happily tipsy crowd captivated, even when he wasn’t singing. The evening saw the Irishman take us through the memory lane with songs like I Don’t Want to Change You, laced with insights into the emotions that went behind his perception of what love is. Volcano saw the songwriter teaching the audience 2 distinct harmonies while singing into his guitar passionately. It created a stunning audience participation moment that as everyone swayed and sang along with the man’s tunes.

While older songs like Amie, Woman Like A Man and Accidental Babies were clear fan favorites, there was one song which had people waiting with baited breaths. Even though Rice jokingly disapproved of the Indian way of pronouncing the song title, people nevertheless got what they wanted. So, the Kildare singer closed the night with the hauntingly beautiful The Blower’s Daughter and we undeniably couldn’t take our eyes off of him.

That is how Sofar Sounds made many people’s dreams come true in one night. With just a single man, his guitar and a voice that can make one feel things that they didn’t even know they could feel. His songs are only a part of his personality that one gets to experience through the records, but a Damien Rice live performance rounds out the musician, making the experience an absolute essential for anyone who considers themselves to be a fan.

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