Join 179,754 fans getting concert alerts for this artist
179,754 fans get concert alerts for this artist.
Join Songkick to track M. Ward and get concert alerts when they play near you.
Join 179,754 fans getting concert alerts for this artist
McMenamin's Elks Temple
M. Ward (born in 1974) is the stage name of American alternative-folk singer-songwriter and musician Matthew Stephen Ward, best known for his acclaimed solo work as well as contributions to the bands She & Him and Monsters of Folk, hailing from Ventura Country, California, U.S.
Raised on a diet of gospel and country music, the genres would prove to have a lasting impact on M. Ward’s musical output. Prior to pursuing a career as a solo artist, the singer-songwriter learned the tricks of the trade with the folk-rock trio Rodriguez for six years. Written in Chicago and on the road to his new home in Portland, Oregon, Ward’s solo debut “Duet for Guitars #2” was released in Howe Gelb’s Ow Om Records in 1999. The album propelled the singer to notoriety in underground circles and subsequently began touring around the U.S.
Issued by Future Farmer Records, Ward’s 2001 album “End of Amnesia” once again highlighted the musician’s bluesy, alternative appeal. The live album “Live Music & The Voice of Strangers” was later recorded and sold at live shows in 2001. Featuring a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, which also appeared in the film “Eagle vs Shark”, Ward’s third full-length album “Transfiguration of Vincent” arrived in 2003. On top of his own releases however, Ward is a regular collaborator with other musicians notably Cat Power, Neko Case, Beth Orton, and My Morning Jacket. In 2004 Ward appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn as the guitarist in Bright Eyes, which earned a feature in Newsweek.
In 2005 the singer-songwriter issued the full-length “Transistor Radio”, which marked Ward’s earliest forays into the mainstream. Extolled by critics the record was released on Merge Records and features a cover of the Beach Boys’ track “You Still Believe in Me”. After releasing the full-length “Post-War” in 2006, the raspy voiced singer emerged alongside singer and actress Zooey Deschanel as the musical duo She & Him. The pair’s debut album “Volume One” arrived in 2008, produced entirely by Ward himself, and followed in 2010 by “Volume Two”. Featuring cutesy, romantically-inclined duets, Ward and Deschanel proved a popular pairing, subsequently releasing the albums “A Very She & Him Christmas” (2011), “Volume Three” (2013), and “Classics” (2014).
M. Ward’s subsequent solo album “Hold Time” arrived in 2009, and proved his highest-charting album to date, rising to No. 31 on the Billboard 200. The same year the singer founded the supergroup Monsters of Folk alongside Jim James, Conor Oberst, and Mike Mogis, and released a self-titled full-length. Peaking at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, the album was a popular release among fans and critics alike and led by the single “Say Please”. In 2012 Ward issued his seventh studio album “A Wasteland Companion”, which peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard 200.
Monday 21st May. Oslo, Hackney, London. M. Ward. So it’s to deepest Hipster Ville tonight with Birds Eye Andy although now to be known as Monster Energy Drink Andy. Luckily the message seems to have finally got through that long scraggly beards and short hair is not a good look as there is a distinct lack of hipsters on show. But hey I’m not sure a fifty year old, overweight man from the burbs is one to dish out fashion advice. Before the review proper it’s hot, damn hot and I mean the walls are sweating. Air con clearly on the skids and it’s a full house tonight to boot.
M. Ward is a singer songwriter from Portland, Oregon specialising is hushly vocalised folk, roots, Americana call it what you will. Nine albums in and probably more famous for being half of She and Him but also a fifth of Monster of Folk, Ward is the go to man to add his unique flourish to enhance anyone’s sound.
Its solo acoustic tonight, but when Ward opens with an instrumental number it’s as if there are three guitarists on stage. The speed of his fingers on the fret board is phenomenal as he plays the bass part overlaid with rhythm and then lead. I don’t know how he does it but it’s amazing. And to top it all he barely looks at the neck of the guitar.
We are then treated to ninety minutes of sublime song writing, witty self-deprecating banter and genuine love from the man. Without a new album to promote tracks are grabbed from throughout his career including ‘Sandman’ from the Monsters of Folk and there’s an airing for a new song ‘Miracle Man’. There are scattered impromptu singalongs from the knowledgeable crowd as early as about the third track.
I think M. Ward has a very British sound with his voice taking in elements of Nick Lowe and Ray Davies but with an added spoon of Americana and especially drawing a little vocally from his former band mate Conor Oberst. What’s refreshing tonight is there are no frills or countless re-tunings of guitars with the only breaks for when he puts on or takes off a harmonica. The live experience is not about sonic perfection, leave that in the studio, it’s about capturing and keeping a moment.
It’s been a great night and while there are musicians like Ward the world is certainly a better place and if only for ninety minutes we can forget what’s spinning outside of the club. Now grab me a water and a cold shower as even my sweat is perspiring.
‘Till the next time, keep on rockin’ y’all.
He’s probably best known, now, as one half of She & Him - with Zooey Deschanel as his opposite number, that particular band was never going to be a low-key affair - but M. Ward has delivered his best material under his own name, particularly on his early records. To be honest, his vast array of talent is criminally underused in She & Him, particularly in terms of his guitar playing; he’s a superb player, but rarely gets the chance to really spread his wings in that regard when Deschanel’s in tow.
In an ideal world, he’d tour with a backing band in his own right - he’s at his best, then, when he can recreate the fleshed-out studio versions of his songs - but his most recent appearances in the UK have been acoustic shows; he opened for Feist at a string of shows back in 2012, which would ultimately prove to be his only British promotion for his most recent record, A Wasteland Companion. He resisted the urge to drop She & Him tracks into the set, instead leaning heavily on his last three records, and closing the set by inviting Mountain Man, who served as Feist’s backing singers on the tour, to join him on a cover of Buddy Holly’s ‘Rave On’, which he delivered with such conviction that it sounded as if was meant to be performed in Ward’s husky drawl.
I've been to four concerts of M. Ward so far in London and every time he manages to give me goose bumps.
Great setlist including some less played songs such as Carolina, way more chatty than usual, two encores with the surprise of having Alessi's Ark to play as a backing band on Poison Cup.
I particularly enjoyed the solo/acoustic version of Primitive Girl and Rave on and his skills on the loop board on a couple of songs. The sound system at the venue was perfect, I have to say though that the temperature was way too high, they should invest in some air conditioning or even just fans if they want to host concerts in summer.
A charismatic, enigmatic showman with a truly amazing set that ran the range from growly-screechy-garagy R'n'R to solo mariachi guitar picking and the angriest most f***ed up Beatles cover you ever heard. And at all times, the band was sublime – brilliant, awe-inspiring, heart-warming musicianship. Just wonderful.
One of the best concerts I've been to.
Pretty much a one man show except for a guest on 3 or 4 songs. A very skilled musician with one of the coolest voices. M. Ward is at least as good if not better live than you hear him on his albums.
The concert was really intimate and M. Ward's voice sounded amazing live. He is just brilliant. He was also very funny, warm and friendly with the crowd. Really enjoyed it!
Want to see M. Ward in concert? Find information on all of M. Ward’s upcoming concerts, tour dates and ticket information for 2021-2022.
Unfortunately there are no concert dates for M. Ward scheduled in 2021.
Songkick is the first to know of new tour announcements and concert information, so if your favorite artists are not currently on tour, join Songkick to track M. Ward and get concert alerts when they play near you, like 179754 other M. Ward fans.
Concerts played in 2021:
Appears most with: