If you have a chance, go see Josh Ramsay’s tour, The Josh Ramsay Show, where ever you can. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. This is Josh (whose day job is lead singer, various instruments player, producer, and more for Marianas Trench) touring his first solo album, also called The Josh Ramsay Show.
I’ve just seen the show in Edmonton at the Citadel Theatre the other day and it was superb, and superbly different than any tour I’ve seen yet – by Marianas Trench (of which I’ve sadly only seen twice before – here and here), and of any other tour.
Now, when I say ‘superbly different,’ I don’t mean crazy stage design, dramatic costumes (though the Elvis shirt and leather pants were fantastic), or cutting edge technology -screens, lights shows, pyrotechnics (does anyone even do pyro anymore?!?!).
That wasn’t this show. No – this was simplicity in design – just Josh, the band, and the theatre lights. What I mean is superbly crazy intimate, feels like Josh Ramsay and his band are playing for you in your living room.
Sure, maybe it was because the venue was small. The Shoctor, (the theatre at the Citadel where this concert took place) holds about 600-700 people, but it felt like just ten.
Maybe it was because I was in the front row , just an arm’s reach from the stage; like, an actual, no joke, arm’s reach – and when we stood up, we were standing right against the stage – no barriers, no gap.
Maybe it’s because of the velvet cushy seats that felt like a couch and the warm colours of the theatre.
Probably it’s because of the conversational, informal, off the cheek discussions between audience and Josh. Someone even asked him what his favourite oatmeal was… (Josh’s answer: “Do I look like someone who eats a lot of oatmeal?”)
Maybe it was the moments of quiet patience and support from the audience while Josh and techies fiddled with a few ear pieces that weren’t working early into the show.
Maybe in other larger venues, or for other artists, this might have been more of a big deal than it felt in Edmonton, but it was so well handled by those on stage and those in audience in this intimacy we had going on. Or maybe that moment helped create more of the intimacy. We just waited, and talked, and joked. It was a pause to just chat between Josh and 700 of his closest friends :P. (I think this is where the oatmeal question popped up.) (I’m sure things were not this calm on the other side of the stage – but we couldn’t tell and didn’t mind at all. )
A chat with a long lost friend you haven’t seen since before the pandemic. A conversation, not just about oatmeal, but through music. And damn, is that music good! The Josh Ramsay Show album is spectacular.
There are, of course, elements that reminded me of Marianas Trench, songs that could have been for them. But this album is one big awesome musical experiment for Josh (and for us, the listeners).
It’s a little bit country (Best of Me with Dallas Smith (but sung this night in duet with Dan Davidson, pictured below)), a little bit rock n’roll (Lady Mine with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback).
It’s a whole lot of orchestra, some Big Band (Blame it on the Beat), and some gorgeous pop numbers (including one of my favourites, Delirious, which was equally beautiful live), and a whole lot more.
By the way, pretty sure Josh plays all the instruments on this album!!! The talent…. whoosh!! And of course there’s the harmonies and Josh’s drop dead stunning falsetto.
I’ve loved the album since its release on April 8, 2022 and hearing the it live in almost its entirety was brilliant. (Not to mention the warmly welcomed Marianas Medley.)
Hearing the audience sing along with every word to the new songs only a month after the album’s release is, well, it’s normal for Josh/Marianas Trench fans, is what it is. This happened last MT tour with Phantoms as well. This fandom must just keep those albums on repeat when they drop. I know I do, anyways 😛
And that feeling of ten people in the audience, that intimacy; somehow, at the same time, those 600-700 people that felt like ten, sound like a stadium when we sang. I think we missed Josh. And music. And concerts.
This was my second concert since the pandemic, and like the first, music heals. Celebrating this album live with ten, 600, a stadium of people makes me feel righted. In a way, yes, we forget for those couple hours the past two years of pandemic terror.
But more than just that reprieve, we unite. We gather together and share a like-minded interest. We laugh together, we stand together, we dance, we jump, we sing.
We give out love to the band and each other, and this is just so, so good for the body and soul. Especially after so many things in the past two year, and even beyond felt like they were dividing us. Music, I tell ya.
Also… Tyler Shaw.
I can’t end this post without talking about Tyler, who opened the show. So good! This is what I love about opening acts! I did not know about Tyler Shaw. I mean, I’ve definitely heard some of his songs on the radio and liked it, but I just didn’t know the name to the songs, you know?
So he walks out on stage, just him and a guitar, and that voice comes out! Honey smooth! Soooo good. Well, I’m a fan now. And isn’t that just the point.
Tyler also joined Josh on stage for a song – you could tell they had fun doing so.
So yes, go see this show! Edmonton’s was only the second show of the tour, and while there were the few sound hiccups, this was such a fun night, with incredible music, and much joy. It’s only going to get better from here!
The Setlist (thanks to the fan that let me take the photo after Josh handed this to her!!!):