Gin Wigmore’s Willing To Die Tour is not one to be missed. Though it only consists of two artists - Wigmore and her band, and Chicago’s Matthew Santos - when the tour came through Denver on April 23rd, the night was flawless from start to finish. When arriving at the venue, I was more than pleased to see a line stretching down the block, as it was my first time seeing Gin Wigmore live, and I wasn’t certain what sort of crowd to expect. As soon as the show started, it was plain as day why The Marquis Theater was close to selling out.
Opening the show was Matthew Santos, and despite having never listened to him before, I was blown away by his unique sound within seconds. For just one man, there was so much noise coming from the stage at The Marquis, and although the crowd was unsure, like me, what to expect before he began to play, within seconds, they were captivated by Santos. By looping vocals, guitar and beatboxing, he created a very large, full and captivating sound that was completely unique and mind blowing at the same time. Think a Bon Iver or Sigur Ros inspired sound with the groove and use of loop pedals of Ed Sheeran. It may not have been as wild or as upbeat as Gin Wigmore’s following performance, but it was stunning to say the least. Not only that, but it was also a beautiful and unifying moment when Santos asked for a moment of silence in memory of influential artist, Prince, who passed away only two days prior.
Following Matthew Santos was the moment everyone was waiting for, and after a long set change that successfully built anticipation among the crowd, Gin Wigmore finally took the stage. The set kicked off with the high energy and intense track, “Willing To Die,” and by the time it faded into the first track from her new album, Blood To Bone, the crowd was under Wigmore’s spell. Not only did her vocals sound flawless, but the entire band was on top of their game, perfectly in synch with one another, and comfortable enough to goof around and dance on stage.
Throughout the night, Wigmore was able to transition from higher energy, upbeat songs like “New Rush” or “Kill Of The Night” into slower, more emotional songs like “Black Parade” or “24” with ease. And in between songs, she was charming and humble as ever, bowing after each flawless performance and chatting with the crowd or telling stories before launching into the next song. It was apparent how much fun Wigmore and the rest of the band were having on stage throughout the night, as both the chemistry between them and the crowd was palpable. And that only made the show more fun! Closing off the first half of the set was “Written In The Water,” the single from Blood To Bone, and as the band danced in sync on stage, the crowd followed suit. Ending the night were two high energy encore tracks, “Man Like That” and “Sweet Hell,” followed by the raw and vulnerable love song, “I Will Love You.” The power and emotion in Wigmore’s voice on the final song was absolutely stunning, and it felt like the perfect ending by the time the final note rang out.
A Gin Wigmore performance has the energy that you expect from a rock show, with quite a bit more soul, groove, passion and joy thrown in the mix that makes for a flawless, memorable night. If this tour is coming near you anytime soon, I urge you to make it out - you won’t regret it!