Live Review: Nick Lowe and Ron Sexsmith @ The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver - June 10th 2024

Live Review: Nick Lowe and Ron Sexsmith @ The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver – June 10th 2024

Concert Review: Nick Lowe and Ron Sexsmith at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver

On a balmy Monday June evening, the iconic Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver played host to a concert that was as much a masterclass in songwriting as it was a nostalgic journey through the careers of two of music’s most respected craftsmen: Nick Lowe and Ron Sexsmith. The night promised a blend of timeless classics and heartfelt performances, and it delivered in spades.

Setting the Stage

The Commodore Ballroom, with its art deco charm and renowned sprung dance floor, was the perfect venue for this intimate yet electrifying show. As the lights dimmed and the chatter of the eager crowd faded, Ron Sexsmith took to the stage first, greeted by warm applause. Known for his melancholy yet hopeful melodies, Sexsmith’s set was a tapestry of poignant lyrics and soulful tunes.

Ron Sexsmith: A Gentle Start

Sexsmith’s performance was a gentle embrace, starting with “Secret Heart,” a song that has been covered by many but remains uniquely his own. His voice, tender and expressive, filled the room with a quiet intensity. He moved through his set with ease, mixing newer songs like “Cigarette and Cocktail” with classics such as “Gold in Them Hills.” Each song was met with appreciative silence, the audience hanging on every word and note.

Between songs, Sexsmith’s humble and self-deprecating humor endeared him even more to the crowd. He shared anecdotes about his songwriting process and the inspirations behind his lyrics, creating a sense of camaraderie and connection with the audience.

Nick Lowe: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Veteran

After a short intermission, the stage was set for Nick Lowe. As the lights came back up, Lowe’s charismatic presence immediately commanded the room. Opening with “So It Goes,” Lowe’s performance was a study in effortless cool. His voice, still rich and resonant, carried the weight of his extensive career, each song a testament to his enduring talent.

Lowe’s set was a delightful mix of his well-loved hits and deeper cuts. Songs like “Cruel to Be Kind” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” had the crowd singing along, while tracks like “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass” showcased his knack for blending rock and pop sensibilities. His backing band, tight and polished, provided the perfect accompaniment to his smooth vocals and sharp guitar work.

A Magical Collaboration

The highlight of the evening came when Sexsmith joined Lowe on stage for a few songs. Their rendition of “Peace, Love, and Understanding” and “Cruel to be Kind” was a particular standout, their voices blending seamlessly in a harmony that was both powerful and moving. The chemistry between the two musicians was palpable, their mutual respect and admiration evident in every note.

The audience, now on their feet, gave a standing ovation that seemed to last forever, a testament to the lasting impact of Lowe and Sexsmith’s artistry.

Final Thoughts

Nick Lowe and Ron Sexsmith’s concert at the Commodore Ballroom was a reminder of the timeless power of a well-crafted song. Both artists brought their unique styles and perspectives to the stage, creating a night that was both introspective and uplifting. For those lucky enough to be in attendance, it was an unforgettable evening that highlighted the enduring appeal of two of music’s most respected songwriters

Photos of Nick Lowe and Ron Sexsmith © Sharon Steele