Live Review: Simon Spire

Where: All Asia in Cambridge, MA
When: 9/16/11

Even though I haven’t been to a show at All Asia in ages, when I received an email about checking out singer/songwriter Simon Spire’s set there I just simply had to go. And it wasn’t because of his publicist’s knack for capitalizing all the right words in her email to me, even though that was a huge part of it. Instinctively, Spire’s image resonated with me–he’s just a man who mires through his problems like the rest of us, only through music. And for this particular Cambridge performance, he was sans backing band.

As a complete novice to his sound, a stripped down set is the exact way I needed to be introduced to him. Even though there were a few dozen in attendance (his set started at 9), he worked the crowd like he was entertaining thousands. His demeanor was disturbingly pleasant, as he pushed through his songs with the greatest of ease. He also was informative as he was delightful, as he discussed his complex lyricism concerning political disallusion (“No Solid Ground”), the tricky nature of truth (“The Blue Pill”), and the undeniable beauty in both the profane and the profound (“A Four-Letter Word”). Shortly after he finished playing, he jumped right in the crowd to meet devoted fans as well as newly acquired ones. He mingled with other performers who also played that night, and was even sweet enough to shoot the shit with me after getting me a beer. Turns out he loves Neil Young, adores Brooklyn but misses his native New Zealand immensely, and is just having a blast making music that touches and inspires others. And just when I thought he couldn’t get any more down to earth, he gave me a lift to the train station. Man, they don’t make ’em like that anymore.

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