Coverage: José González and Covenhoven deliver pensive indie folk to Vilar Performing Arts Center
José González played at the Vilar Performing Arts Center with opener Covenhoven, the stage name of Denver indie folk musician Joel Van Horne. Saturday, Aug. 24 was a night full of subdued folk and loud cheers.
Number of people: The venue wasn’t quite full, but a solid number of people turned out for the show. Everyone that was there cheered loudly for both acts.
History in Vail: González has never been to Vail, but he did say, “I’m very happy to be back in Colorado.” Covenhoven is based in Denver and said he was very happy to be out in the mountains.
Audience participation: González asked, “Simon and Garfunkel or Al Green?” The overwhelming sound from the audience was for Green, and González launched into a slowed-down, fingerpicked cover of “Let’s Stay Together,” a refreshing take on the funky soul classic. Afterwards, the audience asked for Simon and Garfunkel, but González said, “sorry, I already retuned the guitar.”
Tender moment: González also covered The Beatles’ “Blackbird.” González quietly whistled when birds chirp on the record, and the audience laughed.
Best musical moment: “Heartbeats,” perhaps González’s most famous song, was the second to last of the night. The crowd cheered so loudly afterwards that it was hard to hear what soft-spoken González was saying into the microphone. Additionally, Covenhoven’s adept use of looping and switching between three acoustic guitars and a keyboard was fascinating. The sound he created using these methods sounded like at least three musicians were on stage with him.
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