You don’t have to dig too deep to catch up on what new project Johnny Flynn is involved in these days. From his newly hatched portrayal of a Young Einstein on the period drama, “Genius,” to his portrayal of Dylan on Netflix’ “Lovesick,” Johnny’s ability to maneuver within various disciplines, from stage, to screen, to studio is completely effortless. Now, at sold-out le poisson rouge, Johnny unveils his latest music from his latest album, Sillion, to a rapt audience.
Without his backing band, The Sussex Wit, Johnny was left to his own devices to fill the empty space in between songs, and he did in his signature shy, yet hilarious, commentary and dry humor. He played off the energy nicely, and encouraged more than 1 sing-a-long since he was a little bit under the weather. Aside from some extra rasp in his voice, he delivered his songs as flawlessly as usual. If you haven’t previously been to a show of his, expect vivid imagery, symbolism and metaphoric prose that captivates and leaves you wanting more.
While the newer songs from Sillion like “Raising The Dead,” and “Heart Sunk Hank,” earned their rightful spots in the setlist, the crowd pleaded for old favorites like “Einstein’s Idea,” “The Lady Is Risen,” “The Wrote and the Writ,” “Lost and Found,” and the biggest request of the night, “The Water.” From somewhere in the depths of the audiences, more than one female voice rose above the rest, hitting the notes so perfectly it caused Johnny to crack and smile and extend the sing-a-long for one more round.
While Johnny was generous and accessible with the entire audience, he was just as generous with his opening act, Ben Rosenfield. Having acted with Ben previously in the movie, “Song One,” he invited Ben out to open the night. Ben, looking a tad bit flustered by some slight technical difficulties at the beginning of his set, finally found his groove midway and settled into a groove with enough time to spare to win over more than a few new fans.
Overall, the night was one of lighthearted humor and fantastic stories that all left us feeling a bit more optimistic about the days ahead. It was also good to hear the stripped down solo show that Johnny delivered didn’t diminish the lustre of the songs as they are on the record. Johnny has a way of just figuring everything out, and this show was no exception.
Article: Lesley Keller