Howie Day at the Kessler Theater

Howie Day performing at the Kessler Theater
Photo by Chuck Cox
Rattle and Hum Sports

By Chuck Cox

Special Contributor

For me, there is very little that approaches the cool factor of hearing good live music. But Maine’s own Howie Day took live music to another level at the Kessler on Sunday night.

Day is one of those rare guys who actually makes music on the spot during a show. Sure, he plays music just like everybody else — and he sounds amazing in doing so. But Day also uses multiple effects pedals to create samples that he incorporates while singing and playing acoustic guitar, which he also uses as a drum.

Got all of that?

The results are absolutely incredible to witness. I don’t know how anybody’s brain could multitask so furiously, but Day makes it look absolutely effortless.

The crowd wasn’t very big for the show, but it was very boisterous throughout the evening. Day played a 96-minute, 17-song set that was perfectly paced and incredibly strong from start to finish.

Shane Piasecki at the Kessler Theater

Shane Piasecki opened the show Sunday night at the Kessler Theater
Photo by Chuck Cox
Rattle and Hum Sports

Day mixed things up nicely with stuff from all three of his full-length releases, along with a few new songs. It’s tough to pick out a favorite, because they were honestly all so fantastic. Day has an amazing voice to go along with his immense talent.

I do love his song “Collide,” which he played on Sunday and the first time I saw him. The new stuff sounded amazing and like it fit right in with the rest of his catalog.

Day is definitely the kind of guy who gives you the feeling if more people saw him play live, he would be a pretty big star. And he was the perfect kind of artist to play the wonderful Kessler, with its incredible acoustics.

It had been a little more than 10 years since I had seen Day open for Barenaked Ladies back when Verizon Theatre was still Nokia Live. Other than when a song or two pops up on my iPod, I hadn’t thought much about him since. Now, I’ll be looking for him in the concert listings so I can go see him when he rolls through town.

Opener Shane Piasecki was also fantastic. I wasn’t familiar with Piasecki, but he really sounded great and had an awesome, dry sense of humor. He definitely made the most of his 35 minutes, including covering “Mercury Blues.”