Kevin Morby was a bit sheepish about playing two back-to-back shows in NYC — he’d hit Mercury Lounge the night before — stating that he didn’t want to repeat any of his stage banter. He praised summertime in New York, shouted out old buddies, and asked if anyone at Rough Trade had seen both performances, eliciting sparse cheers from a dedicated few in the crowd.
On his previous tour, he’d only brought drummer Justin Sullivan along, prompting a heckler to ask where the band was; recounting that story, he smiled and said, “Here they are!” seeming grateful that they were so dedicated to helping him bring Singing Saw
to life. And though the LP has a distinctly Californian vibe, Morby’s reverence for the five boroughs was palpable throughout the show, most especially when he was introducing his penultimate number, “Parade,” as one about the city. Its first lines could be spoken as encouragement to any resident — “If you come to find out who you are, may you find out who you are” — but it was also an admission that no matter which coast Morby inhabits, the true New Yorker never really leaves. — Lindsey Rhoades
Photos by Alex Pines for the Village Voice