Thursday, March 9, 2023

Review: Ward Davis at the Louisiana Grandstand (March 3, 2023)

When Ward Davis’ solo acoustic performance at the Louisiana Grandstand theater was announced, I almost decided to skip it. I’d just seen Davis with his full band back in the fall and had a heavy concert slate for 2023 already. I logged in on the day tickets went on sale, and it just so happened that there were still a couple of front row center-section seats left at a price less than I paid for one upper deck ticket to see his friend Cody Jinks a week later. I couldn’t pass that up, and it was a fortuitous turn of events because I really would have hated to miss this show.

This was my first visit to the venue, and you kind of have to know what you’re looking for. It’s a historical-looking unmarked red-brick building with white columns, and if not for the valet parking sign pointing around to the side, I would have wondered if I were in the right place. Walking in, the building has the feel of a place that country greats might have played back in the 1950s. Two staircases to either side of the entrance lead to the upstairs theater, about a 500-ish capacity place with wooden auditorium-style seats, a smallish stage and red curtains. It definitely had the feel of a place where you could have seen Hank Sr.

So, it’s already a cool venue, and for my money, Ward Davis stands as one of the best songwriters out there right now. That’s a perfect pairing.