What do U2, Bob Dylan and Brandon Flowers all have in common? All of them have had music produced by the legendary producer, performer and Canadian: Daniel Lanois.
Born in Hull, Quebec, Lanois began producing music in his home studio at age 17, which also happened to be in the basement of his mother’s Ancaster, Ontario home. While a heralded music producer through the 1980s-90s, Lanois is also known for his own blend of ambience and alternative rock. On November 15th, Lanois brought that unique brand of music to The Danforth Music Hall, to the delight of the sold-out audience in attendance.
Lanois began the show with little fanfare, merely walking out on stage in a denim vest and t-shirt, and a low-hanging trucker hat, but the show quickly escalated from there. After dedicating the show to the late-great Leonard Cohen, Lanois & Co kicked into a set that would make anyone feel as though they had ingested psychedelic drugs, even if they hadn’t taken any! The mixture of ambient tones and sound processors, working in conjunction with the live instruments (guitar, drums, bass, etc.), brought on a larger-than-life feel. While Lanois was candid with the audience during the musical breaks, the music needed no explanation; it spoke for itself. Lanois may have spent the early part of his career crafting musical experiences for other bands, but this performance was one that he could truly call his own.
For a man who has a few Grammys, a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, and producing credits on U2’s The Joshua Tree, the good-natured and humbled Canadian in him still shines through. Lanois is both a delight, and a powerful force as a musician and performer. Let’s hope for more musical magic in the future from Daniel Lanois!