For the first night of her tour and hot on the heels of her latest release, Blood To Bone, New Zealand’s Gin Wigmore hit Cambridge’s it-was-so-close-to-being-sold-out-that-I’m-calling-it-sold-out Sinclair, with her perpetually on-point band, scorching the stage right from the first lick of “New Rush.” Wigmore’s band is absolutely on point – the perfect backdrop to her equally fragile and ferocious lyrics – accompanying her as our tour guides on this expedition through the impeccable world of Gin. Performing a larger part of Blood to Bone’s stellar tracks, yet sprinkled with previous album nuggets “Kill of the Night,” “Hey Ho,” and “Man Like That,” Wigmore captivated – glowing and carefree, growling and purring, shimmying across the stage, joyful and proud – clearly delighted to be there.
Gin has a beguiling and ferocious stage presence – Wigmore’s unique voice and performance are bursting with love and a true passion, grateful for every moment on stage. There’s a beautiful old school tinge to her sound, bringing names like Stevie Nicks, Amy Winehouse, Etta James, and Janis Joplin to mind. However influenced, Wigmore isn’t to be limited to one genre, which is a huge part of what makes her all the more appealing. It hovers around smart and brazen soul-rock-folk, if you must have some genre frame of reference.
Gin Wigmore is captivating and magical; and Gin Wigmore’s band are the sublime magician’s assistants that complete the show (sans revealing costume, but you’re welcome for that Halloween idea, guys). Playing off of each other, bringing unparalleled energy and skills to the stage, these guys clearly enjoy every second. The five men in black – Dave Goodison and John Schreffler on guitars; Steve Padin on drums; Rocco Dellaneve on keys; Joey Secchiaroli on bass – contributing to the fiery, aural excellence, nearly rocked the doors off the hinges of The Sinclair. Tough to choose just one favorite (or even ten) of the night, the band blasted out catchy “New Rush” and “Written in the Water,” keeping the whole place on their toes. And just to solidify the unity of six beautiful souls shining on stage, they sealed this musical love letter with a kiss of perfection in the form of an a cappella version of “I Will Love You,” which brought down the house (and a few tears with it).
Selling out at least half of the ten-stop US tour thus far, with one UK gig already being venue-upgraded due to not-surprising high ticket demand, the zeal for Wigmore is undoubtedly on a swift path to a long-running fever pitch. With her two previous albums having gone platinum in New Zealand, there’s no question it’s just a matter of time before Blood to Bone joins them. The evolution of Gin has brought us here today to this performance and to this album, teeming with raw, emotional lyrics. Intense and witty; sassy and bold; delicate yet tough-as-nails; this featherweight is a vocal heavyweight and absolutely, without a doubt, played one of the best shows I’ve seen in years. There is nothing better than expecting greatness at a show and an artist destroying those expectations by delivering a truly haunting and staggeringly divine performance.