A lucky thing happened this week. I won tickets to The Current’s micro show, featuring Jack Garratt at the Weisman Art Museum. Garratt is a young, British musician who plays at least four instruments – often simultaneously. Normally his music is a mashup of bluesy electronica. He plays keyboards and he’s not afraid to loop. He uses prerecorded music – drums mostly – that he plays with a drum stick. He plays a rocking bluesy guitar. And he sings.
He played just a few songs at the Wiseman – including a unique Minnesotan song – Surprise Yourself. He shared that it was written for a friend from Lakeview, Minnesota who was visiting Chicago and got on the wrong train. He wanted to write her something to come home to, which is a very sweet sentiment. It’s fun to watch him effortlessly juggle the multiple instruments and dive into deeply passionate vocals. I think the girl in front me actually died and went to heaven watching him. All was well until …
There was a lucky accident that happened during his show. Much of his equipment quit working. Garratt was left to wing it with just a guitar. A formidable duo! And while the set list was forgotten, Garratt persevered on fumes and enthusiasm with half the “band” on strike due to technical difficulties.
He improvised with a blues song he had written for his dad. “No words. No melody.” It was fantastic and it felt like a bonus secret side to his music. Much bluesier, much grittier and rawer – which is saying a lot because Garratt starts out at about a nine and finished at an eleven with his second hardcore blues impromptu number.
You’d never wish a stage disaster on someone. He only played for 30 minutes; I’m sure that was shorter than planned but truth is everyone at the show won tickets to it. Garratt was quick to rise to the occasion. He told a ringtone joke and absolutely rocked the art gallery.