M. Ward In Concert

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I've seen M. Ward in concert at least half a dozen times now, and I often come away thinking, "I like his records better." But this show — recorded live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., on July 30 — came closer to what I love about M. Ward than any performance I've seen before, especially during the acoustic numbers.

Ward's voice possessed that intimate, haunting quality that permeates his recordings. The band was good, nothing too flashy, and at times, I wished they'd stretch out a bit. But this was a show that was first and foremost about the songs. Ward mined his ever-growing catalog and sang one great piece after another, including cuts from 2006's Post-War, Transistor Radio and one of 2009's best albums, Hold Time.

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