So many musicians had offered some of their greatest work just prior to the onset of the pandemic or some saw their efforts to promote new recordings thwarted by the worldwide dilemma that hampered far more than just artist endeavors.
Andy Shauf released one of his very best albums — Neon Skyline — in early 2020, right before touring became unfeasible, especially so for an artist based in Western Canada. But that didn’t stop listeners far and wide from gravitating to his one-of-a-kind sound; even former US President Barrack Obama gave Andy a shoutout on one of his influential seasonal playlists.
Still, DC concert goers had been outright deprived of time with Shauf https://parklifedc.com/2022/04/07/live-review-andy-shauf-black-cat-3-30-22/over the course of 2020 and 2021. He, like many, had to cancel a show, then had to cancel another, and only last spring finally made his way back to the nation’s capital for a performance with a smaller version of his band.
But on April 24, Shauf finally returned in full force, captivating and delighting the 9:30 Club backed by a classy and sophisticated outfit that rewardingly included the brass and woodwind instruments that have made his compositions so marvelously distinct.
Listen to Andy Shauf’s newest album released on ANTI-, Norm, via Spotify:
Andy had a recent album under his belt when he visited Black Cat last spring — out promoting fall 2021’s Wilds — and he’s got an even newer release to celebrate now as he tours the Northeastern part of the states before heading into Canada.
Norm, Andy’s fourth record on the ANTI- label, was said to be his first attempt at a “normal” go after cleverly and artfully inventing three consecutive themed albums. But, as the name might suggest, this project indeed centers itself around the stories of a transfixing albeit dysfunctional character. It’s yet another literary achievement for Shauf, the winner of two prestigious Western Canadian Music Awards honors and a multiple-time JUNO Awards nominee.
Watch the official music video for Andy Shauf’s single “Wasted On You” via the artist’s YouTube channel:
In a magical presentation that saw the stage decorated with vines and dimly illuminated, Andy led a spellbinding and transportive set that joined some of his most beloved and well-known tracks with some of his latest. As he and his mates delivered these savory tunes with certainty, audience members hurled compliments and praise in his direction — one chap warmly and amusingly addressed him as “bud” — and inquired about the status of Judy, a character featured across numerous records.
“I’m sorry,” he explained, just as he did last year at Black Cat and as he presumably does at most shows. “Judy’s not real.”
Revisit Andy Shauf’s 2020 studio album, Neon Skyline, via Spotify:
Andy’s mystique, his dry sense of humor and his incredible vision, brought to life by the superbly talented crew around him, made for an unforgettable, festive experience at the popular V Street venue the night of April 24.
In an inspiriting confirmation that he is indeed a shining, tactful songwriter, Andy also reminded that he is an authentically delicate vocalist and adept guitarist. With a more complete band than he had during his last run, Shauf impressed with a robust, cinematic showcase of the songs that he continues to create in consistent, impressive fashion.
Wasted on You
Catch Your Eyes
You Didn’t See
Quite Like You
Don’t Let It Get To You
All of My Love
Here are images of Andy Shauf along with the night’s opening act, Marina Allen, performing at 9:30 Club the night of April 24, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of Casey Vock.