Photography by Cecilia O'Rollins
By Owen Murray
St. Paul and the Broken Bones came onto the Stoke Stage in the peak of the afternoon sun.
Despite the heat— and despite being dressed in a flamboyant, sparkling all black robe— frontman Paul Janeway gave a soulful and energetic performance.
Janeway was backed by another big band complete with sax, trombone, trumpet, keyboards, drums, guitar, and bass. But Janeway himself dominated the stage with his powerful high notes and stunning falsetto.
The mood of the show was dramatic but somehow lighthearted at the same time. Janeway was knowingly over the top, which made him all the more entertaining.
“We’re going to break some hearts with this one” Janeway said before “Grass is Greener.” True to his word, they performed the heartbroken waltz with Janeway practically wailing his high notes.
As if he wasn’t already enough of a showman on stage, Janeway took to the crowd for “Broken Bones and Pocket Change.” He walked down the center isle, taking in the crowd’s affection before climbing the rafters of the media tent at the back of the field. The whole crowd turned around to watch as he sang balanced in the air, still wearing his flamboyant sparkling robe.
Seconds after Janeway returned to the stage, he had guitarist Browan Lollar in his shoulders. He performed with Lollar on top of him without missing a note.
Even in the intense heat, St Paul and the Broken Bones were impressively cool and immensely entertaining.