Joshua Radin possesses a voice that calls to mind Simon & Garfunkel in one body. Last night's solo-acoustic show at the Aladdin Theater had a simplicity a-purity- that was a welcome difference from his last Portland appearance at the much larger Roseland Theater with a full-band. Radin's songs are better-suited to intimate spaces, and even when certain full-band elements were absent on a song, the audience is more than willing to fill the gaps. As was the case with his previous show, a lot of the setlist was taken from Radin's latest studio-album "Onwand and Sideways", but he was more willing than most musicians to play requests, which made for an interesting mix, including a song with more humor than one would expect, given the seriousness of the rest of his output, "Vegetable Car". His songs have the oddest backstories I've ever heard. The entirety of "Onward and Sideways" is a giant love letter to the daughter of a family he met briefly who happened to be from Stockholm, where he was playing the following night. Another song was created from a poem he had written at sixteen inspired by a woman on a train in France.
This was a show where the audience was made to feel part of the experience. Radin has the rare ability to make the performance seem like a conversation. We even had the privilege of a Meet & Greet.
Here's a sampling of his music:"Beautiful Day"