Mo Kenney @ Rivoli, October 15, 2012

Mo Kenney @ Rivoli. Photo courtesy of Noel Johnson.

Rivoli was warm and welcoming. Red walls and glittering Christmas lights hovered around us as we crossed the well-worn wooded floor to a small table near the stage. Onstage, a lone acoustic guitar stood perched on a stand, fighting off ghosts and filling the room with vapours of anticipation. The murmurs of expectation surround us. Everyone in the room had heard of the singer, but for many this was the first time they had witnessed her supernatural talent firsthand. The singer appeared onstage in a pristine white shirt, a reverse echo of the snows of the approaching winter. The guitar found its master’s hands, bucking against the silence in the room. Words were spoken like incantations. The singer’s fingers began to dance over the newly ancient strings. A voice pure and solid as a forest filled the room, chasing distracted thoughts into the dusty corners. Then her voice changed into a haunting golden mist, and the silence began to dance around it like an excited friend. She said she would play a sad song, but the effect was opposite. The audience smiled, and pain was was ejected back out into the grey near-darkness of autumn. With each song, she spun visceral images into her music. Visions of lonely nights, of broken promises, days of endless expanses of ocean and sky. Her voice became a ship, floating untouched above the tempest. Her voice became a soldier, picking up the wounded and bringing them home with fearlessness. Her voice became an entire season flashing by in a few minutes. A deep wound healed with the bittersweet nostalgia of youth, she taps into something that everyone knows but never speaks about


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