It’s not just that Nick Urata has one of the most beautiful tenor voices I’ve ever heard. It’s not just that I revere your multi faceted musicians and your emotionally charged, worldly and infectious sound. Oh it’s that and more. Much more. Your show at the Paramount on March 5th, for one. It opened perfectly. Beautifully, slowly, casually. That gradual anthemic building, a call to arms: I felt like a kid at Christmas, replete with anticipation, positively giddy.
(Forgive me, but like everyone else in the world, I lack the words to adequately describe your sound, and not for lack of trying. Accordion, violin, tuba, mandolin, flute, etc, etc. Eastern, western, romance, ardent veneration for all things fantastic and spectacle– you are authentic and haunting and I adore you).
The visual backdrop, the rhythmic clapping of your fans, how Nick swilled red wine directly from the bottle, it was all entirely mesmerizing. You played “Queen of the Surface Streets” and the strings, my GAWD, that pleading-playful-plaintive plucking; your violinist is a master of his craft. At one point in the night he broke a string on his bow and kept playing. (Devotion and commitment are super sexy). You played “The Man from San Sebastian” and showed us your incredible dimension. You played “We’re Leaving”, the song with the most delicious sorrow I’ve ever heard. You played “All the Sand in the Sea” and like you implored of me, I promise to never forget that while I in fact did not come here with you, I came here for you.
I forgive you for the amateur girls writhing and hanging from silk ropes while you performed that one song. It seemed as if everyone else really enjoyed them, but having worked in the circus myself, I expect a much higher caliber performance when it comes to aerial acts. What irks me the most is that I was so busy being all judgy-judgy while they were performing, that I missed most of your song.
But you redeemed yourself when the stage was bathed in red light and for the first time in my life, I heard “How it Ends” live. Let me tell you something, heard live this song means something completely new to me. I am eternally grateful for that; for you doing that for me. Because that night, whiskey drunk and falling for you, your indescribable, passionate, and profound show of force reminded me that the best music is the kind that doesn’t ask; it just comes in and steals you away at night. Heard with an open heart and an open mind it moves around makes a nest inside your brain. Please stay forever.