It was a great relief as a mid-40 something dude to find that I was not the oldest man in the Alix Goolden Theatre, Victoria for Hayden’s concert tonight.
Hayden, after all is pushing 40. Not that it shows. Because it doesn’t.
The standard uniform at tonight’s Hayden show was plaid for dudes, facial hair and lots of it and a sensitive hang-dog expression.
All the girls (and there were lots of girls) look exactly like the women that I work with at the University; somewhere between 20 and 30, pretty and plain and fitted into clean blue jeans and cotton t-shirts.
The vibe at the Hayden concert was squeaky clean in plaid with youthful freshness.
And If you have never heard of Hayden, do not worry. Most people over the age of 30 haven’t. I think he falls into a music category I call coffee house. He falls dead center in the genre I think.
Hayden’s voice is as brittle as a dried egg shell in the coldest corner of your refrigerator. – His voice as plaintive and vulnerable as an abandoned wet dog whimpering on a country road.
His music defies complexity. His guitar chords and general playing style is (for yours truly – a guitar slinger from the eighties) is aggravatingly simple but evocative in a peculiar kind of way.
To be blunt, I recognized many of his songs from the SUB Cafe at the University where I work – but the lyrics were wrapped, folded and hidden like an unsent love letter forgotten under a sofa… which is to say: When he is singing, I cannot hear or understand a god-damn thing. And as a guitar player and singer, this aggravates the heck out of me.
Which is part of who Hayden is.
For me, a part time musician and producer, there is a lot of stuff or substance in Hayden’s music that appears beyond the audible… perhaps with the imagination of the listener – When he is strumming and working it out with his keening vocal delivery, I can hear French Horns, acoustic bass and a variety of unidentifiable instruments somewhere between my ears. But I wish my ears could pick out the lyrics.
My wife summed it up for me after the concert:
“Colin, you are way more talented than Hayden is… on the Piano and the Guitar and when you sing…”
That might be so but Hayden filled the house and the plaid-clads and pretty girls in the crisp blue jeans were loving him.
Jenn Grant of Halifax opened the show with a half-dozen songs reminiscent of what Feist is currently doing; bouncy, fresh, approachable and organic…
Lyric-wise? I could not understand a damn thing she was singing either.