Gabriel Garzon Montano: Live at the Gaso
As the intimately sized crowd gathers, Stones Throw artist Gabriel Garzon Montano and drummer David Frazier Jr take to the stage. Before people have had time to walk over from the bar, Gabriel delves instantaneously into Sour Mango. The off-kilter, looping hand claps and soul rhythms helping to limber up the stiff legged attendees. As the night progresses, Gabriel expertly navigates through a solid and soulful catalogue of songs from his debut album Jardin in addition to playing cuts from his earlier Bishouné EP. The beauty of his music stems from the stripped back arrangements. Gabriel doesn’t overextend his vocal abilities and the result is a set of soulful minimisation.
For The Game, Gabriel moves away from his keyboards, steps off stage, and moves his way through the crowd. It’s a song where the melodic nature of Gabriel’s voice is on display and despite grooving out among the audience, he delivers a rendition that matches the style and playfulness of the studio version. He returns to stage, collecting numerous pats on the back, and quips about the drug culture at Strawberry Fields Festival and asks if anyone tonight was in attendance at his set, one guy calls out and raises his hand and the scattering of laughter floats across the room as Gabriel smiles wryly and states that “there’s no judgement tonight”.
The energy from everyone throughout the night is excellent and the crowd lifts further when the opening lines of Crawl ring out. It’s obvious to see why he has likened the song to “making love to someone you find irresistible”. Closing out his set, Gabriel asks the crowd to help by clapping along to a Cumbian inspired beat and singing lines in Spanish. People’s ability to comprehend and repeat phrases in a foreign language at this time of the night are obviously, and comically, somewhat limited.
Gabriel hangs around at the end of the show and converses with people in a way that extends past the usual customary chitchat. Switching between Spanish, French and English, he engages lovingly with those who have hung around to talk; an honest smile never far from his face. As a talented songwriter with a huge appreciation for his fans, it’s hard not to be excited for what he has in store next.