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Jos-EH! (Shush... don't get too excited.)

Posted by Goran / March 16, 2008

20080314Jose Gonzalez.jpg

I can’t remember the last time I legitimately considered the classical guitar a weapon of choice in the pop-rock arsenal. Friday night, at the Cabaret Juste Pour Rire, Jose Gonzalez showed a full house of Montrealers the extent of the instruments versatility when in the right hands.

I was mesmerized by his right hand. I know that sounds a bit weird, but his fingers never stopped plucking and strumming. With a few tricky tuning changes, Senor Gonzalez made his guitar sound like a full band. The Gothenburg native also had a voice to match. At times I wondered what the other two musicians were doing on stage with him. Although they contributed with the odd backing vocal, percussion, or keyboard line, they added little to Jose’s live show.

The crowd was cool, but a bit too static and serious. They showed their appreciation for Jose with their applause, but not with their body language. At one point, I was even shushed for revealing too much enthusiasm. Thus, the chorus at the cabaret shocked me when they erupted into a “Jos-eh!” chant, coercing Gonzalez into an encore after a full-bodied cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” ended the short first set.


The shy guy showed little excitement about the audience’s emphatic response. However, he was compelled to join the crowd in a good natured chuckle after biting the stage in an accidental dive off his stool; a great slapstick beginning to a lengthy and captivating encore set. The performance showcased Gonzalez’s well-developed composition and arrangement talents, manifested in the fullness of his sound and the dynamic progressions of memorable pop-folky pieces such as “Down the Line” and “Killing for Love”.

Some commentators claimed his music induces the urge for passionate lovemaking, while others saw him as little more than just another dude with guitar. Although some truth is party to both accounts, Jose’s songwriting and performing skills tend to indicate a more robust potential.

Photos from Flickr user Peter Jan and Variety Playhouse



O / March 16, 2008 at 08:14 pm
Just to clarify, you were shushed more than once. It was awesome. You should also take credit for the "Jose-eh" chant, which didn't happen as much organically as it did through the sheer force of your will and determination to get him back on stage.

And yes, his concert definitely made me want to have sex.

Sisi / March 17, 2008 at 07:15 pm
I went to his show a few months ago and was blown away. Had I been to this one, you can be assured we'd both get shushed. This man is talented.
Tejas / February 4, 2015 at 01:38 am
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