Sometimes you get the opportunity to see an artist perform great material before the masses have a chance to latch on and send a new star into the pop music ether. Sometimes you get to do it three times in a calendar year, as I have with Christopher The Conquered in 2015. Last night at Tonic Room was the first time since I’ve heard the brilliant new album I’m Giving Up On Rock And Roll and his performance perfectly captured the power and emotion of the record.
Christopher takes performing way beyond playing songs. There’s an intimacy and connectivity that he creates, making a concert more like a personal view into his headspace. The music he makes can be very complicated, with lots of layers and instruments. Playing as a solo artist (on this night, not always), he makes up for the lack of bodies with piano solos and talk-singing over long segments. If you’ve never seen it before, the talking could seem a little non-sequitur, but I assure you it is all connected.
The overall feeling is one of positivity for all beings. Becoming a better person, making better art, and being a full participant in all of life’s offerings are all tangled up in his music. There’s also just a good energy about him, as an artist and a person, that his singing is kind of infectious. Even if you don’t know the words he’ll make you want to sing along. His voice is so powerful I think sometimes even he is overwhelmed by it, but it draws you in and forces you to listen. If you’re smart you’ll pay close attention.