Raul Malo hypnotizes at Woodbridge concert (REVIEW, SETLIST, PHOTOS, VIDEO)

PHOTOS BY JEFF WERTZ, www.jeffwertz.com

Raul Malo performs at Woodbridge High School on July 7th.

At one point during Raul Malo’s free outdoor concert on July 7 at Woodbridge High School, a fan shouted a request for Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain,” a song Malo recorded years ago, but which is not part of its repertoire.

Malo refused. “I mean, I love ‘Early Morning Rain’, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “The song. And morning rain. But I don’t have it. Are you kidding? After a year without pants, there aren’t many songs that I remember right now.

Armed with a lyric book that he placed in a chair in front of him, he did very well throughout the 90-minute show, not spoiling a single word, as far as I know. More importantly, her voice miracle was in good shape.

Malo, better known as the frontman of The Mavericks, quite simply has one of the greatest voices in popular music, a rich and booming tenor suitable for both upbeat rock and sultry ballads. Playing solo and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar at this concert – he’s a solid instrumentalist, but not at all flashy – he has put his voice squarely in the spotlight on ballads such as “Blue Bayou,” “Before the Next Teardrop Falls,” “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” and “Summer Wind.” And it was always spellbinding. The show culminated, for me, with a gorgeous, languid version of “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young.

Malo paid tribute to Ringo Starr (whose birthday was July 7) and the late John Prine, respectively, with covers of Starr’s solo hit, “Photograph” and Prine’s sweet novel “I Just Want to Dance With You “. “Summertime (When I’m With You)” had a flavor of yesteryear, reminiscent of Leon Redbone.

There were bouncy songs in the series, such as “I Want to Know”, “Back in Your Arms Again” and “I Said I Love You”, and there were dark overtones in the muscular “Come Unto Me “. But Malo sang so many low-key ballads that he was inspired to make fun of himself, asking fans to pretend to sleep as he sang a cover of “Blue Bayou”. A videographer roamed the football field at Woodbridge High School, capturing dozers of dozers playing the role of comedian while Malo sang.

“Oh my God, this is going to be awesome,” exclaimed Malo, after filming was finished. The video has already been posted, with the comment “I killed them last night in Woodbridge!” you can check it below. And yes, it is awesome.

Raul Malo performs at Woodbridge High School on July 7th.

Malo will perform with The Mavericks at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park on December 12; and at BergenPAC in Englewood on December 14.

To see who else is coming to Woodbridge High School this summer, click here.

Here is the set list for July 7:

“Again in your arms”
“Angel flying too close to the ground”
“Summer (when I’m with you)”
“I just wanna dance with you”
“Harvest moon”
“Every little thing about you”
“Bayou blue”
“Blue Bayou” (cover)
“Bésame Mucho”
” Come to me “
“I want to know”
“As simple as it sounds”
“Before the next tear drops”
“I said I love you”

“Summer wind”

Here is the “Blue Bayou” video:

And here’s a video of the whole gig:

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