Damien Rice at the Paramount Theatre

Last night I attended Damien Rice’s concert at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. Damien Rice is an Irish folk singer/songwriter known for his raw, emotional lyrics and voice.

His 14-song set, accompanied by his band, was excellent, if a bit short. The live performance was heavily electric, which stood in contrast to his recorded albums, which are acoustic and mellow. That maintained the energy level, however, as Rice alternated between acoustic and electric guitars and playing piano.

One highlight of the show was a jam session including the songs Coconut Skins and Woman Like a Man. Damien Rice improvised at the end of the session, chanting the well known lyrics “fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” from Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine.

He closed out the show, and his encore, alone on stage singing Cheers Darlin’ while drinking red wine and smoking a cigarette. A waiter was on hand, ready to refill his glass as soon as it was empty. After finishing the song, he downed his fourth glass and walked off stage in a haze of smoke. A fitting end to a great show.

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