“Liverpool came the f*** out tonight” Jack Garratt shouted in the middle of his set, and we certainly did.
As I was going to the gig on my own I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the night, but as soon as Garratt appeared on stage through the strobing lights, I felt at ease. From the first note he played, the crowd was dancing and rocking to the beat and I was with them. The beats Garratt delivered on his tracks meant that nobody was stood still, the movement was contagious. Looking around, everybody had a smile on their face. It was the perfect Saturday night.
The reception that this guy got from the crowd was immense, he even got quite emotional when he heard how loud everyone was singing. As soon as the first note in ‘Weathered’ dropped, there was no need to sing and he took a step back. The crowd was one of the loudest crowds I’ve ever been in; the room was filled with love and admiration for Garratt and it was enough to make anybody feel teary.
The man himself is the definition of a talented musician. It doesn’t matter whether you have seen him perform once, or a hundred times, you will never stop being impressed with his abilities; he’s the world’s coolest one-man band. During ‘Fire’ – a track which possesses a slinky dubstep-like bassline – Garratt had one hand on the piano and the other commanding the beat on the drums and synthesisers, whilst he sung at the same time. His music and talent is something out of this world; he was even freestyling to fill time when his team were on stage changing his equipment.
Settling into the dynamics of the gig, he played Breathe Life and the song’s instrumental break set the tone of the night. He went hard on the drums and we knew we were about to witness an hour and a half of pure ecstasy. The passion for music that Garrett possesses comes across when he performs on stage, he became so wrapped up in the beat that after his drumming breakdown in Breathe Life he almost lost his balance.
The gig wasn’t only musically breath-taking however, it was also entertaining. Something that has been a staple feature on his tour is a cover section that he treated us to in Liverpool. He explained that it hadn’t gone down well previously on tour because he would play the start of a couple of well-known songs, but when he stopped he was met with the boos of a crowd wanting him to continue. Of course, we had the same reaction; wanting more from the tiny snippets he was playing. He played the beginning of Britney’s Baby One More Time and Still D.R.E. by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg amongst others. After enough teasing he finally played his Radio 1 Live Lounge cover of Craig David’s 7 Days blended in with Justin Timberlake’s Senorita – a cover which showed off his craftsmanship.
As the gig was coming to an end, Garratt asked us if we wanted one more song, which would inevitably be Worry, or two more songs, with the other being a quiet ballad named My House Is Your Home. The crowd unanimously chose two more songs, not wanting the gig to end. Speaking about the ballad, he said it was first dedicated to his girlfriend who had recently said yes when he asked her to marry him – the crowd went wild.
But after America’s presidential election on the 8th, he changed his mind and decided he would dedicate it to his fiancé’s family – who he said are living in Chicago, are Muslim, and are the kindest people you will ever meet. Needless to say, the crowd erupted with an even bigger applause than before. So as promised, he played ‘My House Is Your Home’ and I swear, you could have heard a pin drop in that room. We were in awe, touched by a beautiful song.
He closed the spectacular night with a loud and passionate rendition of ‘Worry’, with the crowd screaming back the lyrics to him. Garratt said his goodbyes by coming right to the front of the stage, thanked everyone, and then left, leaving us wishing he could stay and play to us a little while longer in Liverpool.
A true artist and I wouldn’t have expected any less from him.
Picture Credit: Catherine Burns