Wesley, John (August 2008)


Date of Performance: August 30, 2008
Venue: Martyr's, Chicago, IL, US

This is the most talented opener I've ever seen. What was most astonishing was the fact he sounds like a full band. He uses a device that allows him to record a verse and repeat. Between his voice, his guitar, and this wondrous device, little is lacking from his shtick. Not to mention, his compositions and lyrics exhibit the highest level of musical IQ. I wouldn't be surprised if this particular showing qualifies him for the singer-songwriting wing of Mensa.

While my favorite group on the planet was next on the agenda*, I found myself actually on tenterhooks for more of John Wesley's mentally-stimulating material. Literally, every selection in his collection was great, but the most provocative of the bunch was about a failure to launch. The cream of the crop from his repertoire was called "Dreamland" and it posed a plethora of rhetorically ponderous questions. With his emotive oration, you got the impression you were witnessing sad drama unfold. It made people feel and weep for the protagonist of his song. When it was over, the audience clapped and cheered, but this was not out of joy. He collectively moved all of our souls.

The closest act I've seen to Wesley is a singer-songwriter by the name of Jimmy Newquist from Caroline's Spine. Might they do a duet in much the same way as Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen did for the critically-acclaimed Blackfield? I'm sure collaboration between Wesley and Newquist would be stellar, too. So much so, I've considered petitioning each artist to make it happen.

Once upon a time Wesley was a sideman for Porcupine Tree and a lead guitarist for Fish. Then he left his bread and butter to find his own voice. I'd say he's accomplished that and more. In any event, if he remains on his own, no reason why he cannot become a household name and bestseller within the niche of the progressive nouveau rich.

Set-list:

Pretty Lives
The King Of 17
Shiver
Waiting For The Sun To Shine
Falling Into Fallen
Star
Dreamland
Free
13 Days
Disconnect
A New Life In Old Sweat
Please Come back

Line-up:

John Wesley (Everything but the kitchen sink)

[To give you an idea of how innovative this artist is: Go to his site (www.john-wesley-com) for a "free" download of his latest album.]

* That would be The Flower Kings.


Added: October 6th 2008
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Score:
Artist website: www.john-wesley.com
Hits: 4058
Language: english
  

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