by Jasmine Zweifler
The Ark’s Graham Colton and Jay Nash concert (or as I’m calling it “night of a thousand feelings”) on Sunday, November 4 was one of the most vibrant evenings of music in recent memory at the venue. Jay Nash took the stage first, an imposing presence dressed in black but with a warm smile. The Ark often brings out the talk show host in its performers as they develop rapport in the intimate setting. Nash was obviously comfortable with the room, often bookending each song with anecdotes about his creation (usually melancholy, bizarre and amusing). His love for the audience was unabashed: commending us for coming out on a Sunday evening and explaining his pause to tune his guitar by saying “I gotta tune because I care and I love you.” This was a sentiment echoed by Graham Colton later in the show when he took time out to rap with the crowd about how much they mean to him. It was basically a love fest. But more on Colton later.
Nash filled the room with bold upstroke downstroke and slapped guitar and snarling yet sweet vocals. The highlight was a track called “River Siren” off of his album “Stream Up North.” Nash sang it like a punch in the gut, and we ate it up. Graham Colton joined Nash on stage for his final song “Unshakable,” creating a seamless transition into Colton’s set. Colton was welcomed to the stage by a gaggle of fangirls who were obviously enamored of his sweet voice and Jason-Shwartzman-if-he-were-a-Californian mien. Colton’s set was a monster dose of nostalgia, heavy on songs about high school crushes and driving around with your friends in your first car listening to Counting Crows — songs like “Wide Open Inside” and “1981.” Both Nash and Colton kept it simple, toting along only their acoustic guitars, but they managed to fill the room with bonhomie and memory, while making some new ones in the process.