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Live @ Convocation Hall (Live)

Hayden

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Album Review

Following the evocatively mellow Skyscraper National Park, Hayden decided to tour the North American continent all by his lonesome, bringing his acoustic guitar, wavering voice, and unexpected humor to small clubs and theaters. This double-CD set captures the singer/songwriter in his hometown of Toronto performing 22 songs from his extensive catalog in front of a theater filled with appreciative fans. The recording is a beautiful testament to the stripped-down beauty of the songs, and with material from his three records, new songs, a few obscure cult favorites, and the obligatory Neil Young cover, not to mention some beautiful packaging, this is a real treat for any fan. New tunes like the goofy ode to his cat, "Woody," or the eerie love vs. obsession tale "Holster" will surely get folks excited for whatever follows this disc, but it's the solo renditions of classics like "We Don't Mind," "Between Us to Hold," and "Stem" that really steal the show. Hayden's trademark stage banter, a witty and unexpected contrast to his often depressing songs, is all over the record, and it only serves to add to the already personal sound of the evening, making Live at Convocation Hall a true live record and not just a note-for-note reiteration of his studio work. It's a strong accomplishment, and if you were unlucky enough to have missed this intimate string of shows, it's a document that comes close to bringing the experience into your own home. ~ Peter J. D'Angelo, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1971 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Toronto's Hayden Desser spent the bulk of two decades creating uniquely affecting music through a combination of rock and folk flourishes, personal sentiments, and a voice that channeled both the falsetto highs of Neil Young and the wavering raspy low tones of Leonard Cohen. The critically acclaimed musician first appeared in the early '90s, armed with only a four-track tape recorder like his heroes in Sebadoh and Pavement. Coupling his unnaturally low range with an extremely detuned guitar, Hayden...
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Live @ Convocation Hall (Live), Hayden
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