Canada’s King of the rumba flamenco Jesse Cook took centre stage at the National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall on Tuesday night delivering a show not soon to be forgotten. This was my first experience seeing Jesse live and it didn’t take more than one song to solidify his spot on my list of best live performances I’d seen this year.
Jesse is a master of the fretboard. His fingers took control over every note in the scale and in every position across the fretboard. For the guitar enthusiast this was a treat for sure. For that matter, each of the band members “owned” their instruments that night. The bass player had my attention on more than one occasion. The bass strings were definitely pushed to their limits that night.
The excited crowd was fully engaged in each song and at times they stood as though in awe looking on and then other times danced like no one was watching and if they were they didn’t seem to mind. This crowd knew what to expect and from the cheers, clapping and singing I saw I think they got it in spades.
On several occasions Jesse himself would step aside out of center stage and simply watch and tap his foot as his band members play their parts. His way of sharing the stage equally and not being overbearing just shows how much of a professional he is. A good example for the new up and comers in the music industry.
Jesse took several opportunities to share stories, in a humous manner, which were actually quite educational at points. His story about the making of the video for Double Dutch had the crowd ready for what was to come; the song itself.
The last song of the night was their version of “Fall at Your Feet” by Crowded House which they performed without microphones. This was a pure lesson in how stripping down to the bare bones can be risky but when delivered as they did the result is excellence. The crowd still wanted more. The perfect way to end the night.