Jill Barber live at the Sydenham United Church

Flying V Production Presents Jill Barber Live at The Sydenham United Church

 On Wednesday night at the Sydenham United Church Jill Barber gracefully and elegantly performed songs off of her new album titled Mischievous Moon with the addition of her back catalogue.

Jill was greeted by the audience with an almost standing ovation as she sleek fully walked out onto the stage with her band quietly playing. Jill wasted no time before starting her first song called “Chances” It still took the audience a few second to compose themselves before quieting down and letting Jill’s amazing vocals take control of the room. This is one review where I do not believe that I can ever write down and try to recreate the moment within which this night provided us with. For everyone who was in attendance they will understand where I am coming from. Jill’s performance throughout the night provided so many emotions and ambience that could never be described in words yet had to be witnessed for yourself. The church setting and sound only helped matters along as Jill performed her way through her set. The acoustics which the Sydenham United Church provided where like no other that could be recreated anywhere else. Sitting in the bottom portion of the church was the most rewarding rather than trying to get a bird’s eye view from the balcony. At some points through the set Jill backed away from her microphone and filled the room with almost the same decibels as the speakers provided.

The set which Jill provided us with was a mixture off all songs and genres which Jill has sang and played throughout her career so far. The night also provided a little more insight into her songs as well for a couple of songs which helped set the mood of the song and to push forth the point of the lyrics which many may have not already known. One song in particular which was an audience mover was the song for which she wrote about the life and passing of her grandmother “Ashes to Ashes”. Jill’s band exited the stage for this song which left Jill front and centre as she shared this private song with us. As the song was coming to an end the backing band reappeared to finish off the song and moment strong.

One song which almost tuned into an awkward moment for Jill was the song for which she wrote for her husband but the awkward portion of the song came as she was building up the story for the song and announced that she was married but the audience for some reason may have not taken note of this and took a few seconds to applaud and it almost took Jill to raise her hands a little after showing the audience the sparkling ring which she had on her finger. This wasn’t the last time in the night that the audience was going to almost kill a song because they missed the cue, nearing the end of the set Jill gave the audience the opportunity to finish out the song but the audience completely missed it and it almost made Jill visibly upset to the fact that they missed the cue. It took about five tries and with Jill asking as a composer to finally get the lyrics right and in sync. At the end of the song Jill hung up her microphone in a half mast position off of the stand.  Jill quite a few times throughout the set offered her band mates a chance to show off what they had in a few standing solos. My favourite note of this came nearing the end of the night as Jill stood in front of each player and moved according to the music which was being created. Jill seemed to take a special shine in her violinist and Saxophone player Drew Jurecka. The rest of Jill Barbers band is Les Cooper on Guitar, Robbie Grunwald on Keys and Accordion, Adam Warner on percussion and Steve Zsirai on Stand up bass

A song which I was surprised that got left off the set list which is also one of my favourite songs from Jill was “Hard Line” but the song didn’t really fit into the setting for the night. A surprising guest for the night was Spencer Evans, who entered the stage nearing the end of the night. It was his entrance which was memorable for the night. While hitting the perfect timing Spencer placed himself at the back of the church and started to play his clarinet with the audience looking around to see where the instrument was coming from, even as he passed a couple of people sitting in the pews they still had a hard time noticing Spencer playing his way down to the stage. Spencer joined the band for the rest of the song and gave a helping hand in one more song as well before exiting the stage.  Before ending the night Jill made time for thanking the audience for coming and telling us a story about her first time ever playing in Kingston and it happened to be at the open mic night at the Grad Club she went on to tell us the story about her first show and how Kingston has always had a home for her music and she gave a special thanks to Virginia Clark who has always been there for her as well.  For the last encore song Jill left us with the upbeat tempo song fittingly titled “Leaving You”.