All Photo's by Patrick Dunn
Jon McLaughlin - Great as ever at The Cedar Cultural Center
Show date: September 14, 2016
There are certain artists I make a point to see every time they come to the Twin Cities and Jon McLaughlin is one of them. He is a joy to see even based on personality alone, which definitely comes across in his music. Don’t discount his catchy pop tunes as simple compositions before trying to follow along yourself on the 88 keys, which would definitely give you a deeper appreciation of his extraordinary talent and years of experience. McLaughlin is also an accomplished singer who has applied what he knows about story telling through his fingers on the ivories to the stylistic choices he makes with his voice that adds to the dynamic expression he accomplishes in his live performance.
All of these fine qualities were on full display during his September 14th performance at The Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. This time around, McLaughlin chose to perform his material as a trio, which was just the right amount of accompaniment to enhance, but not overpower his playing. It was only the second night on their Don’t Mess With My Tour outing and everything felt very fresh and exciting. He cycled through his hits, lesser known fan favorites, some new material and a Police cover before ending with his stirring ballad Indiana.
Nashville based artist Marc Scibilia warmed up for McLaughlin playing an inspired acoustic set with a vocal performance that at times sounded like Springsteen. His ballad Better Man was a standout. Newcomer Brad Ray also played an acoustic set that showed promise to kick off the evening.