Love Is Louder Than All This Noise
Craig Cardiff is no stranger to Kingston. Just this year he’s had three shows here, including his most recent one this past Tuesday. For someone that’s had three shows in the same city within 365 days, Cardiff managed to pull quite the crowd out. He even thanked the crowd (a majority of which were Queen’s students) for coming out during mid-term season, on a Tuesday none the less.
And Cardiff continued to captivate the crowd, not only with his music, but with his words. Maintaining a very intimate and friendly setting throughout the show, Cardiff delivered stories of the past, and maybe even embellished a little on some of the facts, which made the anecdotes all the more enjoyable. He managed to make the crowd laugh at least once, if not several times between each of his songs over the course of the night.
Being a solo folk musician, Cardiff was only equipped with his acoustic guitar and his voice. There were a few moments throughout the set where Cardiff ran his mic through a loop pedal. At times he used it to provide subtle background vocals. If you plan to make use of a loop pedal, you shouldn’t feel restricted to just one backing track.
Cardiff is a musical talent, that much is certain, but he really should try to add more to his live shows. On his most recent release, Love Is Louder Than All This Noise, Cardiff makes use of an organ, bowed instruments, a piano, and many other subtle additions to his solid compositions. The self-titled track of the previously mentioned album, posted at the top of this article, is a perfect example of what the live show was like. It works perfectly the way it is, but some other songs he played definitely could have benefited from more instrumentation. Just check out Lenny Bruce Lee, Part 2 from his 2013 release.
It’s amazing what a few small additions to a song can do to an already good foundation. Despite that small criticism, the show was a pleasure to observe and be a part of. Every song painted a picture; a narrative of something that Cardiff had experienced, or that he knew someone else had experienced and he empathized with.
For the last song of the night, the bearded man with a guitar asked that everyone stand up and slowly dance the night away to his last song, closing a humble performance, and everyone was obliged to do so.
I had a chance to talk to Cardiff during the intermission, and he said to me at one point, “It’s not the music that brings people out, it’s the opportunity it gives for them to be themselves,” which he strongly encouraged throughout his time spent at Clark Hall Pub. Sorry Craig, but you’re wrong. It’s the music too.