Touring in support of his recent album, The Animal Years, Josh Ritter easily packed two recent nights at Seattle’s Triple Door theatre – and he didn’t disappoint. Backed by a talented band, the Moscow, Idaho, native proved why he has such a large, faithful following, both in the US and abroad. His stage presence displayed a clear love for music and performing, his smile rarely leaving his face as he pleased fans with songs both new and old.
Ritter’s music runs the lyrical gamut, alternately waxing rhapsodic about the history of the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest (such as on the melancholy 2003 beauty, “Wings”) and musing on the existence of the devil (as in “Harrisburg”). So, too, Ritter’s stage show ran from his leading upbeat sing-alongs to his (successful) encouragement that the audience get up and slow dance. His show was a refreshingly pretentiousness-free performance by a skilled artist with a loyal, and undoubtedly growing, following.