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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Greg Holden Live Show Review Royale, Boston, MA September 22, 2018
Greg Holden Live Show Review Royale, Boston, MA September 22, 2018

Greg Holden Live Show Review

Royale, Boston, MA

September 22, 2018

By Ariana Leo

 

 

It may have been early in the night, but acoustic singer-songwriter Greg Holden, on his second-to-last tour stop in support of critically acclaimed artist Butch Walker, succeeded in setting the perfect mood for the Royale crowd. Holden, who originally hails from Scotland, actually told the audience that he loved the city of Boston, that he had come to appreciate the unique culture of New England, and the real kicker: “Everyone’s just so miserable here. I love it.”

 

 

Holden’s set was full of witty remarks and banter, adding even more intimacy to his stripped-down acoustic performance. He even joked that he was there to bring everyone down with his emotionally charged songs, including “Boys in the Street” and a new political single, “The Power Shift.” Still, though, I heard someone behind me say, “He’s probably the best opener I’ve seen for Butch.”

 

The crowd was enthralled by Holden’s buttery voice (who doesn’t love hearing a hint of a British accent in a song?), the passion in his performance, and the obvious love he has for making music. His songs were catchy and easy to get into, and each one had a powerful message. “Boys in the Street” was written for a fundraising campaign organized by an LGBTQ youth organization, and tells the story of a young gay man who continuously faces disapproval and belittlement of his sexuality from his father as he grows up. Each verse describes the relationship between the son and his father at different points in his life. By the final verse, the father is nearing the end of his life and has finally come around and learned to accept and support his son. Holden slowed down significantly as he sang these lyrics: “There was no way of knowing / ‘Cause all I was told / Is ‘men only love women,’ but now I’m not sure / My son, keep kissing boys in the street.” He paused between each line, giving the audience a chance to take it in, and then picked up the tempo again for the last one with a huge smile on his face, earning a collective cheer from everyone in the room. He also invited them to sing along with the repeated line at the end of “The Power Shift:” “We see your bullshit, all of it / I hope you’re ready for the power shift.”

 

If anyone arrived at Royale that night not knowing who Greg Holden was, they sure know now, and aren’t going to be forgetting his name anytime soon.

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